Luncheon (1876) by Gustave Caillebotte

Luncheon - Gustave Caillebotte - 1876

Artwork Information

ArtistGustave Caillebotte
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions52 x 75 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection
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About Luncheon

Gustave Caillebotte’s painting “Luncheon” is one of his most well-known works. The subject matter of the painting is based on observations of one of Caillebotte’s brothers having lunch in his family home. This painting is part of a series of domestic scenes that Caillebotte painted while traveling in Italy, and it also shows several self-portraits. He employed strong brightness contrasts to emphasize certain details and to create depth throughout the scene.

The mastery of the artwork appears in Caillebotte’s ability to create a sense of immediacy for the observer: as if they too were present in this everyday family moment. The focus on light gives the feeling that life is unfolding before us, even though it was ultimately frozen by its painter’s brush, which highlights this key strength – the organic nature of all forms of life.

Caillebotte paved the way for a new movement in art, and his interior scenes are part of his legacy. Another example is Gustave Caillebotte’s painting “Interior” from 1880, which features multiple figures engaged in everyday activities such as cooking, cleaning or playing music at home. Creating artwork inspired by everyday moments like these show timelessness and innovation Caillebotte achieved with each composition he created.

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