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Biographical Essay | Impressionist

Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894)

December 1, 2008
Le Peintre sous son Parasol, c. 1878 -Gustave Caillebotte

Gustave Caillebotte was a French painter, art collector, patron of Impressionist artists, and promoter of Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, and Camille Pissarro.

Auguste Renoir encouraged Caillebotte to forget that a painting is merely a flat image, and to reach beyond the canvas to express his vision.

In 1881 Caillebotte bought a house with a garden in Petit-Gennevilliers, on the banks of the Seine, where he would continue to paint, raise orchids, and collect Impressionist paintings.

Caillebotte was influenced by Japanese woodblock prints and the new technology of photography as an art form. His visual elements belong to the School of Realism, and draw the eye back to the realistic and natural representation of people, landscapes, farms, working life, and Paris streets.

Until the early 1960s, most art historians considered Caillebotte an insignificant Impressionist whose work was overshadowed by the fact that he was a patron of the arts and an inexhaustible collector.

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