I already posted about Gustave Caillebotte, when an exhibition took place at the Jacquemart-André museum in 2011 (see here). However, after a visit at another, at present ongoing, exhibition of some his works, I thought I must talk about him again.
You may realise that for once the top picture is not one of my own photos. What I show is one of Caillebotte’s most famous paintings, “Les raboteurs de parquet” (The floor planers), quite controversial for its time, in 1875, with its realistic subject.
Gustave Caillebotte was only 45 when he died in 1894. He was one of the impressionists, although often painting in a more realistic style. He participated in the second impressionist exhibition in 1876, but he was more particularly a good and generous friend to the others in the group. Contrary to most of the other members, he was born in an upper-class family and he regularly helped the others economically, buying their paintings…. In my previous post about him I referred to the fact that in his will he donated 68 impressionist paintings, including some of the today most famous ones, to the French government - Renoir being the executor. The impressionists were not yet in fashion and more or less half of the collection was, even after several attempts, refused - today partly in private collections, partly just lost!
The Caillebotte family owned and lived in a house at 77 rue Miromesnil (still there) ….
… and had also a fabulous country house at Yerres, south-east of Paris. This is where the present exhibition (until July 20) takes place. Here are some pictures from the buildings and the large beautiful park on the banks of the River Yerres.
The paintings exhibited at Yerres are mostly related to what Caillebotte painted there. I have compared some of these paintings with my photos.
Some additional paintings from Yerres.
The parents died, the Yerres property was sold and Gustave and his brother (see more about him in the previous post) moved to a flat, which according to my findings must be this one, in a building at present occupied by Galeries Lafayette, close to Opera Garnier. We can see some of the paintings which obviously partly have been made here with views from and on the balconies of this flat.
I checked on the location where Caillebotte made some of his other Paris paintings. I was surprised to see the location of this famous one, Place de Dublin (in 1877 with the name Carrefour de Moscou), in easy walking distance from where I live. The place has changed atmosphere since.
It was more difficult to find the right angle of these paintings from the Place de l’Europe, a bridge over the Gare Saint Lazare rail tracks, and the protecting fences have changed.
This one must have been painted from a top floor of another Galeries Lafayette building, nowadays with an “H&M” shop on the ground floors.
When his brother married, Gustave moved definitely to a property bought at Petit Gennevilliers, today an industrial area north of Paris, but then a nice place at the countryside, on the Seine River, where Gustave could enjoy some of his favourite activities, sailing, and receive his friends. Among the paintings here we can recognise a portrait of Madame Renoir.