Meaux. Effect of Sunlight on the Old Chapterhouse (c.1871 – c.1878) by Gustave Caillebotte

Meaux. Effect of Sunlight on the Old Chapterhouse - Gustave Caillebotte - c.1871 - c.1878

Artwork Information

TitleMeaux. Effect of Sunlight on the Old Chapterhouse
ArtistGustave Caillebotte
Datec.1871 - c.1878
Dimensions37 x 49 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Meaux. Effect of Sunlight on the Old Chapterhouse

The artwork entitled “Meaux. Effect of Sunlight on the Old Chapterhouse” is an oil on cardboard painting attributed to the French artist Gustave Caillebotte. Created sometime between circa 1871 and 1878, the piece is a striking example of the Impressionist movement to which Caillebotte contributed significantly. The painting measures 37 x 49 cm and falls under the genre of cityscape. Presently, it resides within a private collection.

The artwork showcases a serene cityscape marked by the warm hues of sunlight gracing the architecture depicted within the scene. In the foreground, a large, old building dominates the composition, featuring a striking external staircase that connects the ground level to an upper floor. Shadows and light interact on the surfaces of this building, emphasizing its structural details and the texture of its materials. Additionally, an annexed structure with a slanted roof adds complexity to the building’s form.

To the left, a partial view of a tree introduces a touch of nature to the scene, while on the far right, a turret-like element atop the building contributes verticality to the composition. This element is bathed in light, which further draws the eye upwards. The painterly techniques indicative of Impressionism are evident in the use of loose brushstrokes and the attention to the effects of light upon the environment, capturing a fleeting moment with both precision and fluidity. The palette consists of earthy tones juxtaposed with the cool blues of the sky, creating a harmonious balance between the built environment and the natural world. Overall, the artwork conveys a sense of quietude and the beauty of everyday scenes brought to life through the transformative power of sunlight.

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