What Caillebotte is All About

Gustave Caillebotte, Paris Street, Rainy Day, 1877, oil on canvas (The Art Insti
Gustave Caillebotte, Paris Street, Rainy Day, 1877, oil on canvas (The Art Institute of Chicago, Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester Collection, photography © The Art Institute of Chicago)

Xico Greenwald reviews Gustave Caillebotte: The Painter's Eye at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., on view through October 4, 2015.

Greenwalk writes: "Though Caillebotte painted numerous views of Haussmann’s Paris, 'Paris Street, Rainy Day' is the showstopper. In a letter to Monet, Caillebotte wrote 'the very great artists attach you even more to life.' And in this work he seems to achieve that ambition. The thoughtfully composed street scene of umbrella-holding Parisians seems naturally cropped, as though an umbrella is framing our viewpoint, too. A vivid green lamppost creates a strong vertical axis in the center of the canvas. Chimneys receding into the distance look like musical notes against the sky, adding a silent score to the rainy day picture."