Men artists: Gustave Caillebotte

Gustave Caillebotte (1848–1894) was part of the French Impressionist art movement, the first school of art to break away from classical painting. Impressionism focuses on the light and colors of a particular moment in time. Because artists wanted to capture a brief moment and didn't have cameras yet, they needed to paint quickly. So they used quick, flat strokes without precise detail.

They also used colors in new ways. The best example is that shadows aren't just the object's color with gray or brown mixed in. Instead, the painters added strokes of the complementary color of the object (e.g., strokes of red in the shadow of something green). This makes the shadows come alive. 

Caillebotte is best known for his use of extreme perspective. He shows city streets from above, as though looking down from a roof. Street scenes seem to disappear into the far distance. Some viewers at the time found the unusual perspective disturbing.

Since Caillebotte was born into a wealthy Parisian family, he never needed to sell his paintings and didn't produce as many as other artists. But he contributed a great deal to the Impressionist movement as a patron. He used his wealth to support other artists. He bought paintings, financed exhibits, and even paid the rent for Claude Monet's studio. At the time of his death, he had collected 68 paintings by his favorite Impressionist artists.

In his will, Caillebotte insisted that his art collection be exhibited in the Luxembourg Palace and the Louvre. He didn't want the paintings to be sold to private collectors and never be seen by the public. After some negotiations, 38 paintings were shown at Luxembourg Palace. It was the first exhibit of Impressionist art in a public place in France.

Discussion: 
Describe the picture, "Paris Street, Rainy Day", at the top of this article. Use vivid vocabulary so that someone who can't see the painting can imagine it. Do Homework
Explain how "Paris Street, Rainy Day" fits into the school of Impressionism. Do Homework
Do you know any other Impressionist painters? Who are they? Your teacher can help you. Do Homework
In earlier times, most successful artists were supported by wealthy patrons. What are the good and bad points of that? Do Homework