Gustave Caillebotte: An Impressionist and Photography

Overview

The paintings of Gustave Caillebotte depict striking Parisian street scenes, from Boulevard Haussmann and The Bridge of Europe looking out onto the Gare Saint-Lazare to Caillebotte’s best-known work, Paris Street, Rainy Day, which hangs in Chicago’s Art Institute today. Caillebotte has long been acknowledged as an important painter—and munificent patron—of the French impressionist movement. Yet his paintings, in their near-photographic precision, stand apart from the works of ...

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Overview

The paintings of Gustave Caillebotte depict striking Parisian street scenes, from Boulevard Haussmann and The Bridge of Europe looking out onto the Gare Saint-Lazare to Caillebotte’s best-known work, Paris Street, Rainy Day, which hangs in Chicago’s Art Institute today. Caillebotte has long been acknowledged as an important painter—and munificent patron—of the French impressionist movement. Yet his paintings, in their near-photographic precision, stand apart from the works of Renoir and Monet in important ways.

Gustave Caillebotte: An Impressionist and Photography sets out to explore the development of the artist’s distinctive style. Though there is no evidence that Caillebotte practiced photography, he took an early interest in the art form, influenced perhaps by his brother, the photographer Martial Caillebotte. As a result, Gustave Caillebotte’s paintings show an emphasis on realism and often take on the composition and perspective of a photograph as well, with figures toward the center in sharp focus, while those in the foreground or background remain indistinct. Karin Sagner and Max Hollein have carefully chosen from among Caillebotte’s works a selection of paintings that exemplify this characteristic of the artist’s style. They are presented here alongside critical essays and works by photographers who were Caillebotte’s contemporaries and shared an affinity for documenting the nineteenth-century French capital, including André Kertész, Wols and László Moholy-Nagy, Édouard Baldus, Charles Marville, and Eugène Atget.

While there have been many studies of Caillebotte’s work, this is the first book to publish his paintings side-by-side with a selection of early photographs taken between 1850 and 1930. Together, they establish Caillebotte as the pioneer of a radically modern photographic form that added a new dimension to French impressionism and exerted an important influence on later photography.

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Editorial Reviews

Art Libraries Society of North America
“This extensively illustrated catalog documents an ambitious exhibit about the work of French painter Gustave Caillebotte, presenting the reader with judicious juxtapositions of Caillebotte’s works with now-iconic photographic images. Text and images, working together, persuade the reader that Caillebotte’s work did anticipate, by several years, the unusual perspectives of now-renowned photographers. [It] will serve the research requirements of curators and advanced scholars as well as engage undergraduates with interest in nineteenth-century art and photography.”
Choice
"Recommended. . . . Containing as many photographs as paintings, this catalogue enables readers to see similarities and differences in approaches and to determine independently what connections and interactions might exist."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9783777459219
  • Publisher: Hirmer Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/15/2013
  • Pages: 245
  • Sales rank: 958,437
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Karin Sagner is a Munich-based researcher whose work focuses on nineteenth-century art. She is the author of Claude Monet, 1840-1926: A Feast for the Eyes. Max Hollein is director of the Schirn Kunsthalle, Städel Museum, and Städtische Galerie Liebieghaus, all located in Frankfurt. He is the editor, most recently, of En Passant, also published by Hirmer Publishers.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
      Christian Strenger
Foreword and Acknowledgements to the Lenders
      Max Hollein
Gustave Caillebotte—an Impressionist and Photography
      Karin Sagner

Panoramas, Perspectives—a New Perception of Space
    Panorama Photography—Paris in All its Details
    Stereoscopy—the Breakthrough into 3-D
    The Fascination of Space
New Physiognomies—the City’s Street Furniture
    The Patient Photographer of Parisian Street Furniture
    From Above to Below
    The View from Above
Poetry of Technique—Aesthetics of Work
    The Appeal of Technical Structures
    The Beauty of the Unspectacular
Reading Gustave Caillebotte’s Pont de l’Europe (1876)
      Claude Ghez
Active Optics—Flâneurs, Dandies, and Other Dramatis Personae
    Depicting the Momentary through Movement
    The Freezing of Movement
    Passing the Time with a Camera
‘Everything as though under a magic spell’—The Depiction of Street Life in Nineteenth-century Photographs
      Ulrich Pohlmann
Citizens Seen in Close View
    Positions far from Formal Posing
Staging of Objects
    Putting Things on Display—Commodities and Private Idealisation
Landscape and Abstraction
    The Exploration of Painting
    Austere Arrangements
Unconventional Views through Movement
    Voyeurs and Pedestrians, or: Walking in the City and in the Country
    Photography—the Only Reliable Depiction of Reality
    In Praise of Idleness
    Creating an Awareness of Things by a New Way of Seeing
    ‘The magical en passant’—The Alienation of the Everyday

Gustave Caillebotte—Biography
      Gilles Chardeau
List of Exhibited Works with Short Biographies
Image Credits
The Authors
Imprint

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