Gustave Caillebotte
French, 1848-1894

Paris Street; Rainy Day, 1877

Oil on canvas
83 1/2 x 108 3/4in. (212.2 x 276.2 cm)
Inscribed at lower left: G. Caillebotte. 1877
Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester Collection, 1964.336

Paris Street; Rainy Day

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This work is featured in the online catalogue Caillebotte Paintings and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago. This is the museum’s third volume in its scholarly digital series on the Impressionist circle. This catalogue offers in-depth curatorial and technical entries on the five works of art by Gustave Caillebotte in the museum’s collection. The entries feature interactive and layered high-resolution imaging, videos, and previously unpublished technical photographs in addition to archival materials and documentation relating to each artwork.

In his masterpiece, Paris Street; Rainy Day, Gustave Caillebotte brought an unusual monumentality and compositional control to a typical Impressionist subject, the new boulevards that were changing the Paris cityscape. The result is at once real and contrived, casual and choreographed. With its curiously detached figures, the canvas depicts the anonymity that the boulevards seemed to create. By the time it appeared in the third Impressionist exhibition, held in April 1877, the artist was 29 years old, a man of considerable wealth, and not only the youngest but also the most active member of the Impressionist group. He contributed six of his own canvases to the exhibition; played a leading part in its funding, organization, promotion, and installation; and lent a number of paintings by his colleagues that he owned.

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Paris, 6 rue Le Peletier, 3e exposition de peinture, April 1877, cat. 1.

Paris, Galeries Durand-Ruel, Exposition retrospectived'oeuvres de G. Caillebotte, June 1894, cat. 47.

Paris, Galerie Wildenstein, Exposition retrospectived'oeuvres de G. Caillebotte, 1951, cat. 13.

Portland Art Museum, Paintings From the Collection of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr, 1956, cat. 78, traveled to Seattle Art Museum; San Francisco, California Palace of the Legion of Honor; Los Angeles, LACMA; Minneapolis Institute of Arts; St. Louis, City Art Museum of St. Louis; Kansas City, William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art; Detroit Institute of Arts; Boston, Museum of Fine Arts.

Dayton Institute of the Arts, French Paintings 1789-1929: From the Collection of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr, March 25-May 22, 1960, cat. 56.

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The Past Rediscovered: French Painting 1800-1900, July 1-September 7, 1969, cat. 7 (ill.).

Houston, The Museum of Fine Arts, Gustave Caillebotte: A Retrospective Exhibition, October 22, 1976-January 2, 1977, cat. 25 (ill.), traveled to Brooklyn Museum, February 12-April 24; shown in Houston only.

Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, The New Painting: Impressionism 1874-1886, January 17-April 6, 1986, cat. 38 (ill.), traveled to Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, M. H. de Young Memorial Museum, April 19-July 6, 1986.

The Art Institute of Chicago, The Art of the Edge: European Frames 1300-1900, October 17-December 14, 1986, not included in catalogue.

Paris, Grand Palais, Gustave Caillebotte: Urban Impressionist, September 13, 1994-January 9, 1995, cat. 35 (ill.), traveled to The Art Institute of Chicago, February 18-May 28, 1995 and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, June 22-September 10, 1995.

Fort Worth, Tex., Kimbell Museum of Art, The Impressionists: Master Paintings from the Art Institute of Chicago, June 29–November 2, 2008, cat. 18 (ill.).

Essen, Germany, Museum Folkwang Essen, Images of a Capital: Paris in the Age of Imprssionism, October 2, 2010-January 30, 2011, cat. 11.

Publication History

[Gaston Vassy], “La Journée à Paris: L’Exposition des impressionnalistes,” L’Evénement (April 6, 1877), p. 2.

L. G., “Le Salon des ‘impressionnistes’,” La Presse (April 6, 1877), p. 2.

“Chronique,” Gazette de France (April 2, 1877), p. 2.

“L'Exposition des impressionnistes,” Le Temps (April 7, 1877).

Thomas Grimm, “Les Impressionnistes,” Le Petit Journal (April 7, 1877), p. 1.

A. P. [Alexandre Pothey], “Beaux-arts,” Le Petit Parisien (April 7, 1877), p. 2.

Paul Sébillot, “L’Exposition des impressionnistes,” Le Bien Public (April 7, 1877), p. 2.

[George Lafenestre], “Le Jour et la nuit,” Le Moniteur universel (April 8, 1877), p. 2 [reprinted in La Petite presse (April 9, 1877), p. 3; in The New Painting: Impressionism: Documentation (1996), p. 174, this review is attributed to Pierre Véron]

C. D. “L’Exposition des impressionnistes,” Le Petit Moniteur universel (April 8, 1877), p. 2.

E. Lepelletier, “Les Impressionnistes,” Le Radical (April 8, 1877), pp. 2-3.

Baron Schop, “Choses & autres,” Le National (April 8, 1877), pp. 2-3.

Bertall, “Exposition des impressionnistes,” Paris-Journal (April 9, 1877), pp. 1-2.

“Exposition des Impressionnistes,” La Petite République française (April 10, 1877), p. 2.

Léon de Lora, “L’Exposition des Impressionnistes,” Le Gaulois (April 10, 1877), pp. 1-2.

Jacques, “Menu Propos: L’Exposition impressionniste,” L’Homme Libre (April 12, 1877), p. 2.

Georges Rivière, “L’Exposition des impressionnistes,” L’Impressionniste (April 14, 1877), pp. 1-4, 6.

Ernest Fillonneau, “Les Impressionnistes,” Moniteur des arts (April 20, 1877), p. 1.

Roger Ballu, “L’exposition des peintres impressionnistes,” Chronique des arts et de la curiosité (April 14, 1877), pp. 147-48 [article reprinted in Les Beaux-Arts illustrés (April 23, 1877), p. 392].

Émile Zola, “Noted parisiennes: Une exposition: les peintres impressionnistes,” Le Sémaphore de Marseille (April 19, 1877), p. 1.

A. Descubes, “L’Exposition des impressionnistes,” Gazette des letters, des sciences et des arts 1, 12 (April 20, 1877), pp. 185-188.

Paul Mantz, “L’Exposition des peintres impressionnistes,” Le Temps (April 22, 1877), p. 3.

Ph. B. [Philippe Burty], “Exposition des impressionnistes,” La République Française (April 25, 1877).

Charles Bigot, “Causerie artistique: L’Exposition des ‘impressionnistes’,” La Revue Politique et Littéraire (April 28, 1877), pp. 1045-48.

Frédéric Chevalier, “Les Impressionnistes,” L’Artiste (May 1, 1877), pp. 329-333.

Ph. M., “Arts: Les Impressionnistes,” Revue des idées nouvelles, Année 1877 no. 11 (May 1, 1877), p. 167.

Georges Rivière, “Les Intransigeants et les impressionnistes: souvenir du Salon libre de 1877,” L’Artiste (November 1, 1877), pp. 298-302.

Léon Mancino, “La Descente de la courtille,” L’Art 9 (April 1877), p. 68.

Jacques Crevalier, “À travers l’art: Caillebotte,” Le Soir (June 8, 1894).

J. Bouret, “Un peintre de notre temps,” Art (May 25, 1951), p. 1 (ill.).

Fernand Hazan, ed., Dictionnaire de la peinture moderne (Paris, 1954), p. 43 (English edition, New York, 1955, p. 43).

Henri Perruchot, “Scandale au Luxembourg,” L'Oeil 9 (September 1955), pp.16-17.

New York Times (April 10, 1960).

J. M. [John Maxon], “Place de l’Europe on a Rainy Day,” in The Art Institute of Chicago Calendar 59, 3 (May 1965), pp. 8-9 (ill.).

The Art Institute of Chicago Annual Report 1964-65 (Chicago, 1965), p. 29.

John Maxon, “Some Recent Acquisitions,” Apollo 84 (September 1966), pp. 171, 216, detail ill. on cover.

Marie Berhaut, Caillebote (Lausanne, 1968), p. 28, pl. 7.

Robert Rosenblum, “The 19th Century Franc Revalued,” Art News 68, 4 (Summer, 1969), ill., pp. 5, 60, detail ill. on front cover.

John Maxon, The Art Institute of Chicago (New York, 1970), pp. 95 (ill.), 278.

Linda Nochlin, Realism (Harmondsworth, 1971), pp. 168, 262, n. 103, fig. 103.

René Huyghe, La Relève du Réel Impressionnisme Symbolisme (Paris, 1974), p. 431, no. 133 (ill.).

G. Picon, Emile Zola, Le bon combat, de Courbet aux Impressionnistes (Paris, 1974), pp. 189, 240, n. 53.

Kirk Varnedoe, “Caillebotte’s Pont de l’Europe,” Art International, The Lugano Review (April 20, 1974), pp. 29, 41, 58, fig. 5.

Kirk Varnedoe, “Gustave Caillebotte in context,” Arts Magazine (May 1976), pp. 94-99.

Marie Berhaut, “Gustave Caillebotte et le réalisme impressionniste,” L’Oeil 268 (November 1977), p. 42 (ill.).

Janice J. Feldstein, ed., The Art Institute of Chicago: 100 Masterpieces (Chicago, 1978), no. 53 (ill.).

Marie Berhaut, Caillebotte: sa vie et son œuvre: catalogue raisonné des peintures et pastels (Paris, 1978), no. 52 (ill.).

Kirk Varnedoe, “In Detail: Gustave Caillebotte’s The Streets of Paris on a Rainy Day,” Portfolio (December/January 1979-80), pp. 42-47, ill. on cover.

Diane Kelder, The Great Book of French Impressionism (New York, 1980), pp. 166, 169 (ill.).

Jennifer A. Martin Bienenstock, “Childe Hassam’s Early Boston Cityscapes,” Arts Magazine 55, 3 (November 1980), p. 170.

The Impressionist Tradition: Masterpieces From The Art Institute of Chicago exh. cat. (Tokyo, The Seibu Museum of Art, 1985), pp. 20-21 (ill.).

T. J. Clark, The Painting of Modern Life: Paris in the Art of Manet and His Followers (New York, 1985), p. 15, fig. 5.

Ch. Georgel, Le Rue (Paris, 1986), pp. 74-75.

Mark Stevens, “When Impressionism Was New,” Newsweek (February 3, 1986), p. 71 (ill.).

Richard R. Brettell, French Impressionists (Chicago, 1987), pp. 44 (detail ill.), 45-47 (ill.), 117.

Michael Findlay, “The Caillebotte Bequest,” Auction News From Christie’s 8, 4 (February/March, 1987), ill.

Kirk Varnedoe, Gustave Caillebotte (New Haven and London, 1987), pl. 18, pp. 2, 4, 11, 18, 20, 24, 25, 27, 28, 34-40, 80, 84, 88-95, 91, 93, 110, 176, 187-8, 189, 190, 191.

K. Adler, Unknown Impressionists (Oxford, 1988), pp. 8, 70-76, pl. 64.

Anthea Callen, Techniques of the Impressionists (London, 1988), pp. 93-95(ill.).

Robert L. Herbert, Impressionism: Art, Leisure and Parisian Society (New Haven, 1988), pp. 22-23, fig. 26 (ill.).

John Milner, The Studios of Paris: The Capital of Art In the Late Nineteenth Century (New Haven and London, 1988), pp. 163-164 (ill.).

Kirk Varnedoe, “Late Recognition for One of the Original Impressionists,” The Chronicle of Higher Education (February 3, 1988), p. B27 (ill.).

E. A., “Impressions of Caillebotte,” Connoisseur (April 1988), pp. 46, 48 (ill.).

James N. Wood and Katharine C. Lee, eds., Master Paintings in The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, 1988), p. 58 (ill.).

Jean Chardeau, Les Desssins de Caillebotte (Paris, 1989), p. 64 (ill.).

Anne Distel, “Charles Deudon (1832-1914) collectionneur,” Revue de l’art 86 (1989), p. 61, n. 16.

David McCracken, “Picking Chicago’s Top Art Hits,” Chicago Tribune: A Weekly Guide (August 18-24, 1989).

Norma Broude, World Impressionism: The International Movement, 1860-1920 (New York, 1990), pp. 19, 57, fig. 12.

Mary Ellen Jordan Haight, Paris Portraits Renoir to Chanel: Walks on the Right Bank (Salt Lake City, 1991), pp. 43-44, no. 29.

Richard Brettell and Joachim Pissarro, The Impressionist and the City: Pissarro’s Series Paintings exh. cat. (Dallas Museum of Art, 1992), p. xvii (ill.).

Marie Berhaut, Caillebotte: catalogue raisonné des peintures et pastels (Paris, 1994), no. 57 (ill.).

Jérôme Coignard, “Le Blues des grands boulevards: Caillebotte,” Beaux Arts Magazine 126 (September 1994), pp. 58-59 (ill.), 60-69, detail ill. on cover.

Charles Storch, “Missing A Rainy Day in Paris,” Chicago Tribune (September 14, 1994).

Russell Ash, ed., Impressionists’ Seasons (London, 1995), ill.

Richard Brettell, “Gustave Caillebotte and ‘The New Painting”: A Centennial Review,” Apollo 142, 406 (New Series) (December 1995), p. 58.

Patrick Shaw Cable, “Questions of Work, Class, Gender and Style in the Art and Life of Gustave Caillebotte,” Ph. D. diss. (Case Western Reserve University, 2000), pp. 11, 28, 31, 66, 67, 146, 214, 244, fig. 1.

Die Eroberung der Strasse, ed. Karin Sagner, Mattias Ulrich, Vittorio Magnago Lampugnani, and Max Hollein, Exh. cat. (Hirmer Verlag Mümchen, 2006), ill. 88, p. 89, p. 293.

The Age of Impressionism at the Art Institute of Chicago (New Haven and London, 2008), cat. 18, pgs. 56, 57 (ill.).

James H. Rubin, “Das Impressionistische Stadtbild als Emblem der Moderne,” Bilder einer Metropole Die Impressionisten in Paris, Exh. cat. (Folkwang and Steidl, 2010), p.75-77, ill. 127, cat. 11.

André Dombrowski, "History, Memory, and Instantaneity in Edgar Degas's Place de la Concorde," The Art Bulletin 93, 2 (June 2011), p. 199, (ill.).

Colin B. Bailey, “The Umbrellas (Les Parapluies),”Renoir, Impressionism, and Full-Length Painting. New Haven: Yale University Press and The Frick Collection, 2012. p. 150, p. 154, fig. 15.

Ownership History

By descent to the artist's brother, Martial Caillebotte, 1894; placed with brother in law of Martial Caillebotte, Georges Minoret, Château de Montglat, Provins, 1900; transferred to Mme. Chardeau (née Genevieve Caillebotte), daughter of Martial Caillebotte, Paris, 1950; sold to Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., New York, 1954 [according to Portland 1956 and Houston 1976-77; see also Berhaut 1978]. Wildenstein and Co., New York by 1964; sold to the Art Institute, 1964.