Paris Street; Rainy Day is the best-known painting by Gustave Caillebotte, an artist associated with the Impressionist movement. However, it is not a typical Impressionist work, as it reproduces the effect of a camera lens and uses bold perspective. The oil painting on canvas, measuring over 2 by 2.76 meters, depicts a monumental portrait of a Paris intersection during a rainy day in the late nineteenth-century.
The painting shows changing urban milieu while highlighting Caillebotte’s artistic skill and study of formal painting techniques. He did preparatory drawing on the spot to capture every detail with precision that made the final work look like a photograph instead of an impressionistic art form.
This iconic masterpiece can be found in the Art Institute of Chicago and serves as an informative portrayal of life in Paris centuries ago. Because Caillebotte was not only concerned with aesthetics but also with social critique contemporary city scenes were tackled unconventionally so rethinking what art could do at that moment revealing subjectivity amidst otherwise regular scenes.