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Boulevard Seen from Above, 1880

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Artist Caillebotte, Gustave

Gustave Caillebotte joined the Impressionist group in 1876 and exhibited in every Impressionist exhibition except the first in 1874 and the last in 1886. There are no known works by Caille- botte dating before 1872. However, contact with Degas, Renoir, and Monet may have encouraged him to evolve a highly personal style focusing on “modern” subject matter. The extremiely original composition and the ease of execution in Boulevard Seen from Above anticipate the pursuits of Vuillard and Bonnard.

In 1882 Boulevard Seen from Above was shown in the seventh Impressionist exhibition. Caillebotte played an active part in the planning of the 1882 exhibition and tried to ease the dissension between the different members of the group; it was the last time he participated in an Impressionist exhibition. However, his role in Impressionist affairs was by no means at an end. His death in 1894 brought to the State a bequest of approximately sixty works by Degas, Cézanne, Manet, Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, and Sisley. Among these pictures acquired very early, often to help one or another of his artist friends in their struggle, were masterpieces such as Renoir's The Swing. 1876 (Musée du Louvre, Galerie du Jeu de Paume, R.F. 2738), Dancing at the Moulin de la Galette , Manet's The Balcony, 1868-69, and Pissarro’s The Red Roofs, 1877 (Musée du Louvre, Galerie du Jeu de Paume, R.F. 2745).

Incredibly, the bequest met with a stormy greeting from the press at the instigation of academic circles; protracted negotiations were necessary before a gallery exhibiting a selection of the Caillebotte Collection was opened at the Musée du Luxembourg. Thanks to Caillebotte’s generosity, several works by each of the Impressionists entered a key public collection during the artists lifetime.


Signed and dated, lower left : G. Caillebotte 1880



The family of the artist.



1882 Paris, 251 me Saint-Honoré, 7° exposition des artistes indépendants, no. 10

1951 Paris, Galerie des Beaux-Arts, May 25-July 25, Rétrospective Gustave Caille- botte, no. 39

1965 Chartres, Musée des Beaux-Arts, June 28-September 5, Caillebotte et ses amis impressionnistes, no. 14

1966 London, Wildenstein Gallery. June 15-July 16, Gustave Caillebotte 1848-1894, p. 14. 15 (illus.), 25 (no. 26)

1968 New York, Wildenstein and Company, September 18-October 19, Gustave Caillebotie, no. 36


Selected Bibliography

M. Bérhaut, Gustave Caillebotte, Paris, 1951, no. 107;

M. Bérhaut, Gustave Caifleborte, Lausanne, 1968, p. 32;

L. Nochlin, Realism, London, 1971, p. 176, fig. 112.



Institution Private collection
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 65 x 54 cm













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