Paris Street; Rainy Day

Fashionable people stroll along rainy Paris street holding umbrellas
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • Fashionable people stroll along rainy Paris street holding umbrellas

Date:

1877

Artist:

Gustave Caillebotte
(French, 1848-1894)

About this artwork

This complex intersection, just minutes away from the Saint-Lazare train station, represents in microcosm the changing urban milieu of late nineteenth-century Paris. Gustave Caillebotte grew up near this district when it was a relatively unsettled hill with narrow, crooked streets. As part of a new city plan designed by Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann, these streets were relaid and their buildings razed during the artist’s lifetime. In this monumental urban view, which measures almost seven by ten feet and is considered the artist’s masterpiece, Caillebotte strikingly captured a vast, stark modernity, complete with life-size figures strolling in the foreground and wearing the latest fashions. The painting’s highly crafted surface, rigorous perspective, and grand scale pleased Parisian audiences accustomed to the academic aesthetic of the official Salon. On the other hand, its asymmetrical composition, unusually cropped forms, rain-washed mood, and candidly contemporary subject stimulated a more radical sensibility. For these reasons, the painting dominated the celebrated Impressionist exhibition of 1877, largely organized by the artist himself. In many ways, Caillebotte’s frozen poetry of the Parisian bourgeoisie prefigures Georges Seurat’s luminous Sunday on La Grande Jatte—1884, painted less than a decade later.

On View

European Painting and Sculpture, Gallery 201

Artist

Gustave Caillebotte

Title

Paris Street; Rainy Day

Origin

Paris

Date

1877

Medium

Oil on canvas

Inscriptions

Inscribed at lower left: G. Caillebotte. 1877

Dimensions

212.2 × 276.2 cm (83 1/2 × 108 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester Collection

Reference Number

1964.336

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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