Turning the Pages: Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894), Sketchbook, June 1883-September 1886

This is the only known sketchbook by the French Impressionist painter Gustave Caillebotte, painter of the Art Institute of Chicago's famous Paris Street; Rainy Day from 1877 (1964.336). From 1876 he contributed regularly to Impressionist group's shows; he even organized the exhibition of 1877, where Paris Street; Rainy Day debuted. Until 1881, most of Caillebotte’s paintings depicted the contemporary urban life of Paris. This sketchbook of mainly landscape views demonstrates the artist's preoccupation with more bucolic topics in the years after he moved out of Paris to the French countryside. Little is known about his work, travel, or friendships during this period—save for his continued correspondence with Monet and well-documented interest in boating. As a result, this sketchbook, dated precisely during these mysterious years, provides new insights into the life and work of Caillebotte. Nearly every sheet is dated and most have additional inscriptions detailing the specific location depicted. As a result, one can now partially map his travels from June 1883 to September 1887.