- Gustave Caillebotte
- La Vallée de l'Yerres
- Signed G Caillebotte and dated 77 (lower right)
- Pastel on paper laid down on board
Ernest May, Paris (acquired by 1879 and until 1921)
André Maurice, Paris (acquired circa 1955)
Sale: Drouot Richelieu, Paris, Tableaux modernes, April 15, 1991, lot 28
Private Collection (acquired at the above sale)
Paris, La 4e Exposition de peinture, 1879, no. 28
Paris, Salon d'Automne, Caillebotte: Exposition retrospective, 1921, no. 2743
Marie Berhaut, Gustave Caillebotte, Paris, 1951, no. 81 (as dating from 1878)
Marie Berhaut, Caillebotte, sa vie et son oeuvre: Catalogue raisonné des peintures et pastels, Paris, 1978, no. 99, illustrated p. 116
Sophie Monneret, Impressionnisme et son époque, vol. III, Paris, 1980, listed p. 151
Pierre Wittmer, Caillebotte and His Garden at Yerres, New York, 1991, listed p. 308
Marie Berhaut, Gustave Caillebotte: Catalogue raisonné des peintures et pastels, Paris, 1994, no. 92, illustrated p. 107
Eric Darragon, Caillebotte, Paris, 1994, illustrated pp. 16-17
Ruth Berson, ed., The New Painting. Impressionism, 1874-1886: Documentation, vol. 2, San Francisco, 1996, no. IV-28, illustrated p. 125
Gustave Caillebotte: The Unknown Impressionist (exhibition catalogue), London, Royal Academy of Arts, listed p. 210
Pierre Sanchez, Dictionnaire du Salon d'Automne: répertoire des exposants et liste des oeuvres presentées, 1903-1945, vol 1, Dijon, 2006, listed p. 271
In 1860, Caillebotte's father acquired a property in Yerres, a verdant river valley southeast of Paris. The young Caillebotte was instantly taken with the early nineteenth century gardens around the estate and the expanse of rolling hills that extended beyond. The landscape at Yerres, along with the gardens at Petit Gennevilliers, would figure prominently in the artist's oeuvre. In La Vallée de l'Yerres, Caillebotte layers rich pastels to convey the patterned landscape of the valley. With a high horizon line, characteristic of many of the artist's early landscapes, Caillebotte eschews the common expectations of landscape painting at the end of the nineteenth century with a boldly modern gesture.
Pierre Wittmer writes of the significance which Yerres held for Caillebotte, "The Yerres river - thanks to its location and scenic attraction... - was as important to Gustave Caillebotte as the Epte was to Claude Monet or Mont Saint-Victoire was to Paul Cézanne. The artist adapts the reality of his world to his needs. Gustave Caillebotte gave the sites in which he lived a new and original and wholly personal dimension. His rendering of rural life evokes its perennial and cyclic nature, always leaving us with a sense of the rhythm of passing days and seasons" (P. Wittmer, op. cit., p. 28).
La Vallée de l'Yerres was included in the fourth group exhibition which the Impressionists mounted in 1879. The exhibition took place at 28 avenue de l'Opera and included seminal works by Caillebotte, Degas, Monet and Pissarro. Caillebotte himself assumed an important role in organizing this fourth Impressionist group exhibition.