- 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
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
Cape Town, South African National Gallery, French Paintings of the Turn of the Century, 1974, no. 5
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
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.