Monday, January 12, 2009

Caillebotte: Compositional Merry-Go-Round

Caillebotte - Les Raboteurs des Parquet - Musee D'Orsay

This is such a simple and straight forward presentation of life – you can almost smell the varnish remover and the sweat of these guys working!

Although this painting looks like it could be found in a gallery today, it was actually done in 1875. Caillebotte was a member of the French impressionists. In fact, he funded some of their exhibitions and his purchasing of their work kept many of them afloat financially in the early days.

What I so love about his work is his daring compositions. This painting is a good example of his subtle mastery. The figure on the right directs his gaze (and therefore ours) to the center figure which is linked to the farthest left figure by a pile of shavings on the floor. Above him there is an amazing vertical stripe of turquoise blue and the bright window full of sunshine streaming into the room which leads us down to the strips of scraped floor, or we move on across to the blue wall which leads to some rubble and further on to the wine bottle - but eventually, no matter where you look, you end up with the figures again … and around and around we go.

Upcoming Exhibition
Caillebotte: From Paris to the Sea - March 27 - July 25 - Brookly Museum

Gail Sauter - Journal: A Painter On Painting


River Rat said...

Gail, that Caillebotte painting just amazed me when I saw it in the Musée d'Orsay. I had never heard of Caillebotte before so it was wonderful to become acquainted with his work. I noticed subsequently that quite a few of his paintings play with offbeat compositions and angles; some I liked and others I didn't. One of my favorites of his is Toits - Effets de Neige, also in the Musée. Thanks for bringing back good memories!


Gail Sauter said...

Hi Leslie,

Yes, isn't his work wonderful! Be sure to try to see his upcoming exhibition at the Brookly Museum. I don't want to miss it! Here is the link: