Paris A Rainy Day (1877) by Gustave Caillebotte

Paris A Rainy Day - Gustave Caillebotte - 1877

Artwork Information

TitleParis A Rainy Day
ArtistGustave Caillebotte
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions212.2 x 276.2 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationArt Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, US

About Paris A Rainy Day

The artwork titled “Paris A Rainy Day” is an illustrious oil on canvas painting by the artist Gustave Caillebotte, completed in 1877. As a prominent example of Impressionism, the artwork measures 212.2 by 276.2 centimeters and is categorized as a genre painting. It is part of the collection at the Art Institute of Chicago, located in Chicago, IL, US.

“Paris A Rainy Day” embodies the essence of urban life in Paris during the late 19th century, capturing a moment on a rain-soaked city street. The setting is realistically detailed, likely a portrayal of the modish neighborhood near the Gare Saint-Lazare railway station. The composition is carefully balanced, with a vanishing point that draws the viewer’s gaze into the depth of the Parisian boulevard.

Foregrounded are flâneurs—urbane pedestrians—gracefully navigating the wet cobblestone pavements under their umbrellas. A man in the central foreground, impeccably dressed in a black suit, top hat, and white gloves, holds his umbrella aloft, accompanied by a similarly well-attired woman. Their attire and demeanor convey a sense of bourgeois elegance and composure amidst the city’s everyday weather challenges.

The palette is muted, characterized by a harmonious blend of grays and blues, while the diffused light suggests the overcast conditions. In the background, other city dwellers go about their routines, with horse-drawn carriages and umbrellas populating the scene, enhancing the atmospheric effect and hinting at the hustle of urban life. The precise architectural forms and linear perspective emphasize Caillebotte’s interest in capturing modernity and the changing urban environment. Overall, the artwork seizes the transient effects of light and weather, encapsulating a moment in time with refined detail and subtle emotion, emblematic of the Impressionist movement.

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