Gustave Caillebotte is a French impressionist painter, philanthropist, one of the first famous stamp collectors. Caillebotte’s paintings were distinguished by a more realistic style than those of other representatives of the movement the style of his work is closer to neo-impressionism, which was developed at the end of the 19th century.
Biography of Gustave Caillebotte
The fortune was earned by the grandfather of the future artist, and his father multiplied the family wealth in his life. Gustave received his primary education at the Lycée Louis-de-Grand, and began drawing at the age of 12. After the lyceum, the young man entered the Faculty of Law at the Sorbonne, from which he graduated in 1870.
The father was not against his son’s studies and even equipped him with a separate workshop on the family estate. In 1870, Gustave served in the army for a year, was demobilized and decided to get another education already at the Academy of Arts. During this period, a free, relaxed manner, characteristic of the work of the Impressionists, begins to appear in his paintings. In 1874, he became close friends with Edgar Degas, who introduced him to the circle of artists of the new trend. Freely at his disposal, he deliberately helped artists, many of whom could barely make ends meet.
The artist constantly participated in exhibitions of the Impressionists, was engaged in organizing events. The works of Caillebotte himself were distinguished by their originality, a unique approach to color and perspective, but as a painter he remained unknown to the general public. Persistently seeking recognition of their own talent from viewers and critics was hampered by the absence of material problems, a calm attitude to fame and the reputation of a patron. He was perceived as a wealthy friend and sponsor of a poor but extremely talented company of innovative artists.
Beginning in 1877, divisions intensified among the adherents of Impressionism.
During this period, the artist’s parents died, then his younger brother passed away. Family troubles and conflicts in the artistic environment led to the fact that at the age of 34, Gustave Caillebotte stopped exhibiting his works and wrote only for himself. The artist settled in an apartment on Boulevard Haussmann and led the measured life of a wealthy rentier. The brother who lived with him shared his passion for stamps and together they put together an impressive collection, which is now kept in the British Library.
In 1888, Gustave Caillebotte moved to the outskirts of Paris, where he devoted himself to sailing, gardening and designing textiles. After 1890, he no longer painted large paintings. The artist died on February 21, 1894 at the age of 45 in his garden while working on a sketch. Presumably, the cause of death was the accumulation of fluid in the lungs caused by heart failure.
The paintings of Gustave Caillebotte remained unknown for a long time. The situation began to change when the descendants put up for sale the artist’s creative heritage. Critics appreciated his work only in 1970, when the first major exhibition of the master took place. The artist’s originality lay in his attempts to combine the meticulous drawing and precise tones characteristic of Academicism with the vibrant colors, sense of light and bold perspective characteristic of Impressionism.