Lot 144
  • 144

Gustave Caillebotte

Estimate
250,000 - 350,000 USD
Sold
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Description

  • Gustave Caillebotte
  • Massif de fleurs, jardin du Petit-Gennevilliers
  • Bearing the signature G. Caillebotte. (lower left)
  • Oil on canvas
  • 21 3/8 by 25 5/8 in.
  • 54.3 by 65.1 cm

Provenance

Ambroise Vollard, Paris (acquired circa 1893)
Sale: Chevau-Légers, Versailles, March 5, 1972, lot 79
Private Collection, United States (acquired at the above sale)
Wildenstein & Company, London
Acquired from the above on November 7, 1977

Exhibited

Birmingham, Birmingham Museum of Art, French Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, 1973, no. 33
Cape Town, South African National Gallery, French Paintings of the Turn of the Century, 1974, no. 5

Literature

Marie Berhaut, Caillebotte, Sa Vie et son oeuvre. Catalogue raisonné des peintures et pastels, Paris, 1978, no. 225, illustrated p. 157
Pierre Wittmer, Caillebotte au jardin. La période d'Yerres (1960-1879), Saint-Rémy-en-l'Eau, 1990, illustrated p. 246
Marie Berhaut, Gustave Caillebotte, Catalogue raisonné des peintures et pastels, nouvelle édition revue et augmentée, Paris, 1994, no. 203, illustrated p. 151

Catalogue Note

In 1881 Gustave Caillebotte purchased a house in Petit-Gennevilliers, on the banks of the Seine near Argenteuil. From 1888 until the end of his life this became his permanent base. He stopped exhibiting his work and devoted himself to his favorite activities, notably painting and gardening. A keen gardener, he oversaw the landscaping of magnificent grounds and an elaborate greenhouse at his new property, cultivating exotic species of flora including a variety of orchids, and corresponding about horticulture with his friend Claude Monet, who had taken on a similar project at his home in nearby Giverny. Regular visitors to Petit-Gennevilliers included Pierre-Auguste Renoir, with whom Caillebotte would converse at length about art, politics, literature and philosophy.

These picturesque surroundings and new pace of life were inevitably reflected in Caillebotte's artistic output. Whereas during the 1870s he had devoted himself to depicting the architecture and boulevards of his native Paris, after the acquisition of the house at Petit-Gennevilliers he turned his attention to painting the gardens of his new home and the adjacent countryside. The sensual beauty of this landscape resulted in several lush and intimate compositions, of which Massif de fleurs is a poignant example. As Jacques Hillairent underlines, “the garden at Petit-Gennevilliers bears witness to an evolution in Caillebotte’s art towards a greater freedom, towards a spontaneity close to that of his friend Monet... This property at Petit-Gennevilliers, situated on the banks of the Seine, became for the painter, during the last few years of his existence, an inexhaustible source of motifs just as Giverny had been for Monet” (quoted in Pierre Wittmer, Caillebotte au jardin, Paris, 1990, p. 289, translated from the French).

Acquired from the artist circa 1893 by his illustrious dealer Ambroise Vollard, the present work was later signed by Martial Caillebotte, the artist's brother.

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