Wednesday, April 20, 2016

"Arm In Arm"

9 x 12"
oil on panel

After painting 'Party Crasher', I had no intention of working on another one that would take me days to complete.  But Gustave Caillebotte, the painter of Paris Street; Rainy Day featured in this new painting, was one of the chaps in Renoir's painting Luncheon of the Boating Party and it got me thinking about his most beloved painting in the Art Institute of Chicago.  I fell in love with it back when I was in high school in Chicago - I'd spent countless hours studying every little detail as I sketched the figures.  It blew my mind how anyone could paint something so perfect and so large.

In the past 10 years, I've painted Paris Street; Rainy Day almost a dozen times, including the patrons who marvel at it's perfection - although I never dove into the details until now.  And yes, I got out my small brush.  


Gustave Caillebotte was a French neo-Impressionistic artist, meaning the neos generally painted with more realism and detail rather than broad brush strokes.   He was born into a well-to-do family, earned a law degree, was an engineer, fought in the Franco-Prussian war then after the deaths of his parents, he inherited a fortune which meant he painted without the stress of selling his work.  Also to note, Gustave was one of the first painters to use his photography for his process of painting.  He was a good friend to other fellow artists - Monet, Pisarro, Renoir, to name a few - and was a great support of all of them, collecting their work, paying rent, etc.  A good, good friend.

At the age of 34, Gustave stopped painting and took up gardening, building and racing yachts - living a full and comfortable life.  He never married and died young at the age of 45.

Please click here for a larger view.