Monday, March 18, 2013


Yellow Roses in a Vase (Roses jaunes dans en vase), Gustave Caillebotte
1882, oil on canvas

My first love--at least when it comes to art--was Impressionism. My parents gave me many books on art as a child, and my favourite was on Mary Cassatt. I loved the pastels, the blend of the real and the unreal, the small ticks of vibrant reds and blues meshed with the pale body of work. Gustave Caillebotte is an artist I didn't learn about until long after my world of art knowledge had cracked open quite a bit, but I'm still enamored with his work. Caillebotte was not only a painter but he was one of the great patrons of Impressionist artwork; he was both friends with and collected paintings from the likes of Renoir, Degas and Monet, and upon his death, Renoir executed his will. Caillebotte wanted to donate his collection to the French government, with its eventual home in the Louvre, but the government refused to take it multiple times. Eventually half the collection was moved to the Luxembourg Palace, and the rest of it ended up in the hands of the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.

Much of Caillebotte's work is in the collection of the Musee d'Orsay, but I was fortunate enough to see one of his most famous pieces, Paris Street, Rainy Day, in Chicago. It's a large, beautiful painting, and in the simplistic composition of Edward Hopper, who was 14 when Caillebotte died. Caillebotte is known as one of the more realistic Impressionists, often eschewing the pastels and vibrant highlights for muted, true to life tones. But his paintings were by no means boring, as this painting, Yellow Roses in a Vase, indicates. I highly recommend clicking the image for a closer look; the detail of the roses is blissful and goes far beyond "yellow".

Submissions for this week's SIA are due, as always, by Monday night EST, on March 25th (oh my god it is almost April already). Shoot me your photos and links by then and I'll make sure they're in the post. Enjoy this one, y'all!

No comments:

Post a Comment