Les Orangers, painted by Gustave Caillebotte in 1878, is an oil painting that measures 155 by 117 centimetres and is part of the collection at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. As a prominent member of the French Impressionist movement, Caillebotte’s style was more realistic than others who belonged to the same artistic group. The Orange Trees are set during daytime and were painted during the artist’s last summer vacation at his family estate located in Yerres.
The painting depicts two figures engaged in a family scene with one figure reading while leaning on an orange crate. Les Orangers is notable for being available for public viewing unlike many other paintings from Caillebotte’s private collections. The artwork reveals how vividly he captured both light and color to portray nature’s beauty realistically.
Les Orangers belongs to a significant body of works by influential artists belonging to the Impressionist movement, which rejected traditional realistic forms of art. Instead they chose to focus on depicting atmospheric effects created by natural light while capturing fleeting moments in time through nuanced brushstrokes. This art form challenged traditionalists and paved new artistic horizons for future generations to explore.