Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894) was a 19th-century French Impressionist painter and patron. The subjects of his works were mainly drawn from the life of his time. He responded positively to the naturalistic ideas of his contemporaries Zola, Maupassant and Huysmans and pursued a new style, adept at creatively combining contrasting bright colors with chic scenes.
Gustave Caillebotte was born on August 19, 1848, to a wealthy family living in the upper class of the new Parisian city. His father, Martial Caillebotte, was a judge at the Seine Tribunal, and the family ran a textile business. From 1860, the Caillebotte family began spending many summers at Yerres, where Caillebotte's father purchased a large house. It was probably at this time that Caillebotte started to paint. Caillebotte received his law degree in 1868 and was licensed to practice in 1870; he was also an engineer. Shortly after his education, he was selected to fight in the Franco-Prussian war and served in the Garde Nationale Mobile de la Seine from July 1870 to March 1871.
Later Life and Death
After the war, Caillebotte began to visit the studio of the painter Léon Bonnat, where he began to study painting in earnest. He created a sophisticated style relatively short period and set up his first studio in his parents' home. In 1873, Callebaut entered the Écoledes Beaux-Arts but did not spend much time there. He inherited his father's property in 1874 and divided the family fortune after his mother's death in 1878. Around 1874, Caillebotte met and befriended several artists working outside the Académiedes Beaux-Arts, including Edgar Degas and Giuseppe de Nittis, as well as his participation in the opening of the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874. In 1876, he was invited by Renoir and Henri Rouart to participate in the Second Impressionist Exhibition, where his work made its debut. He did not miss one of the subsequent exhibitions held until 1882. From 1882 onwards, his creative activity as a painter gradually slowed, ceasing to show his work and devoting himself to gardening, architecture and yacht racing. Caillebotte died of congestion of the lungs while working in his garden in 1894 at the age of 45.
As a Patron
Caillebotte was not only a painter but also a patron. He heavily patronized Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Cézanne, Sisley, Degas, and other friends, acquiring their paintings and giving generously to their exhibitions. His collection included 14 paintings by Monet, 19 by Pissarro, 10 by Renoir, 9 by Sisley, 7 by Degas, 5 by Cézanne, and 4 by Manet. Before he died, he donated all the paintings of his Impressionist peers to the state. Although no official statement was made, a large number of Impressionist paintings have since become part of the national collection, and those collected by Gustave Caillebotte are still the treasures of the Musée d'Orsay.
Paris Street is one of Caillebotte's most famous works, created in 1877. He used an unusual technique to give the street a distinctly artificial feel through these strange and transcendent figures. Although this interpretation of the landscape is not revolutionary today, it is one of the major contributions of Impressionism to modern art. Caillebotte's visually detailed depiction of the Parisian street scene through the eyes of a pedestrian is not at all like the hazy impressions of other Impressionists, such as Monet or Renoir. He adopted a technique similar to the way a camera focuses, with the out-of-focus areas becoming more blurred the farther away they are. His application of photographic techniques to Impressionist painting provided inspiration for the development of both Impressionism and the Neo-Impressionism that followed.
Caillebotte's depiction of the middle class was groundbreaking. A few years later, in 1884, Seurat created the famous painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, founded the Neo-Impressionist movement.