Melon and Fruit Bowl with Figs (1880 – 1882) by Gustave Caillebotte

Melon and Fruit Bowl with Figs - Gustave Caillebotte - 1880 - 1882

Artwork Information

TitleMelon and Fruit Bowl with Figs
ArtistGustave Caillebotte
Date1880 - 1882
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Melon and Fruit Bowl with Figs

The artwork titled “Melon and Fruit Bowl with Figs” was created by the artist Gustave Caillebotte between 1880 and 1882. This still life painting, executed using oil on canvas, is an exemplary piece of the Impressionism movement. The artist has chosen a simple yet potent subject—a melon and a fruit bowl containing figs—rendered with the characteristic lightness and vivacity of impressionist technique. Currently, the artwork is housed in a private collection, away from public exhibition.

The artwork captures a moment of seemingly casual arrangement of objects, a style favored by Impressionist painters who often sought to depict ordinary scenes with a sense of immediacy. A large, ripe melon rests prominently on a plate occupying the right side of the canvas. It is painted with a rich application of yellows and greens, the colors and broad brushstrokes bringing out the melon’s rounded texture and volume. The left side features a fruit bowl perched upon a decorative stand. Within the bowl, one can discern the rounded shapes of figs, their colors subtly distinguished from one another using quick, deft strokes.

The background and tabletop are depicted with an array of overlapping, dappled brushstrokes that imply texture and depth, though no specific details are defined. This approach gives an impression of a lush, ambient setting without drawing attention away from the central subjects. The gentle folds of the tablecloth under the fruit bowl and melon are captured with a series of lighter tones, emphasizing the play of light across the fabric’s surface.

The painting’s lack of sharp outlines and soft play of light and color are characteristic of the Impressionism movement, where the portrayal of light and the artist’s immediate experience were often more important than the precise rendering of subjects. Caillebotte, while not as well-known as some of his contemporaries, nonetheless made significant contributions to the movement with works such as this, showcasing his attention to everyday detail and mastery of the Impressionist palette and technique.

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