Lot 17
  • 17

GUSTAVE CAILLEBOTTE | La Rue Halévy, vue du sixième étage

6,000,000 - 8,000,000 USD
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  • Gustave Caillebotte
  • La Rue Halévy, vue du sixième étage
  • Signed G. Caillebotte and dated 1878 (lower left)
  • Oil on canvas
  • 23 1/2 by 28 3/4 in.
  • 59.5 by 73 cm
  • Painted in 1878.


Paul Hugot, Paris (acquired circa 1894)

E. J. van Wisselingh & Co., Amsterdam (acquired circa 1966)

Wildenstein & Co. Inc., New York (acquired from the above in 1967)

Mr. & Mrs. Chester Roth, New York (acquired in 1969)

Private Collection, New York (by descent from the above in 1977)

Aldis Browne Fine Arts, New York

Acquired from the above in 1981


Paris, 28, Avenue de L’Opéra, La 4ème exposition de peinture, 1879, no. 14

Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Exposition rétrospective d’oeuvres de G. Caillebotte, 1894, no. 23

Amsterdam, Galerie E. J. van Wisselingh, Maîtres français des XIXème et XXème siècles, 1966, no. 3, illustrated in the catalogue

New York, Wildenstein & Co., Gustave Caillebotte, 1968, no. 20 (titled Près de l’Opera)

Houston, The Museum of Fine Arts & Brooklyn, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Gustave Caillebotte: A Retrospective Exhibition, 1976-77, no. 41, illustrated in the catalogue

Marcq-en-Baroeul, France, Fondation Septentrion, Gustave Caillebotte, 1982-83, no. 12

Dallas, Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Impressionist and Modern Masters in Dallas: From Monet to Mondrian, 1989, no. 16, illustrated in the catalogue

Paris, Galeries nationales du Grand Palais; Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago & Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Gustave Caillebotte: Urban Impressionist, 1994-95, no. 62, illustrated in color in the catalogue

Lausanne, Fondation de l’Hermitage, Caillebotte: Au Coeur de l’impressionnisme, 2005, no. 29, illustrated in color in the catalogue

Fort Worth, Kimbell Art Museum, “Private Collection, Texas”: European Masterpieces from Texas Homes, Past and Present, 2009-10

Paris, Musée Marmottan Monet, Les Impressionnistes en privé, 2014, no. 16, illustrated in color in the catalogue

Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art & Fort Worth, Kimbell Art Museum, Gustave Caillebotte: The Painter’s Eye, 2015-16, no. 12, illustrated in color in the catalogue


Le Griffon vert, “Échos de Paris: la ville” in Le Voltaire, Paris, May 1, 1879

Marie Berhaut, Caillebotte: The Impressionist, Lausanne, 1968, illustrated in color pl. 9

Robert Pincus-Witten, “A Caillebotte Exhibition at Wildenstein” in Artforum, New York, November 1968, illustrated p. 55

Jean Clay, L’Impressionisme, Paris, 1971, illustrated in color p. 77

Marie Berhaut, “Gustave Caillebotte et le réalisme impressionniste” in L’Oeil, Paris, November 1977, illustrated in color p. 49

Marie Berhaut, Caillebotte, sa vie et son oeuvre: Catalogue raisonné des peintures et pastels, Paris, 1978, no. 116, illustrated in color p. 47

Chantal Georgel, La Rue, Paris, 1986, pp. 74-75 The New Painting, Impressionism: 1874-1886 (exhibition catalogue), National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. & The de Young Museum, San Francisco, 1986, illustrated p. 254

Kirk Varnedoe, Gustave Caillebotte, New Haven & London, 1987, illustrated in color p. 115

Marie Berhaut, Gustave Caillebotte: Catalogue raisonné des peintures et pastels, Paris, 1994, no. 100, illustrated p. 110

Jean-Jacques Lévêque, Gastave Caillebotte, l'oubilié de l'Impressionnisme 1848-1894, Paris, 1994, illustrated p. 129

James H. Rubin, Impressionism and the Modern Landscape: Productivity, Technology and Urbanization from Manet to Van Gogh, Berkeley & Los Angeles, 2008, illustrated p. 36

Karin Sagner, Gustave Caillebotte: Neue Perspektiven des Impressionismus, Munich, 2009, illustrated in color p. 53 

Michael Marrinan, Gustave Caillebotte: Painting the Paris of Naturalism, 1872-1887, Los Angeles, 2016, illustrated in color p. 202


In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

Catalogue Note

Caillebotte’s La Rue Halévy, vue du sixième étage is the embodiment of the new Paris that emerged in the middle of the nineteenth century. Inextricably linked to the moment it depicts, the present work contains a profound originality that demonstrates Caillebotte’s development of novel modes of representation commensurate with the experience of modern life in nineteenth-century France. As one of the most remarkable in the series of his urban landscapes La Rue Halévy, vue du sixième étage exemplifies the innovative pictorial inventions for which Caillebotte was celebrated. Caillebotte made his debut with the Impressionist group during their second organized exhibition in 1876. The works he chose to exhibit were praised for their ingenuity and their creator lauded. Critic Marius Chaumelin exclaimed: “Who knows Mr. Caillebotte? Where does Mr. Caillebotte come from? At what school did Mr. Caillebotte receive his training? Nobody could tell me…” He went on to say, “All I know is that Mr. Caillebotte is one of the most original painters to be revealed in several years, and I am not afraid of compromising myself by predicting that he will be famous before long. In his Floor Scrapers, Mr. Caillebotte proves to be a realist just as crude but more witty than Courbet, as violent but more precise than Manet…. If intransigence meant painting this way, I would advise our young school to become intransigent” (quoted in Gustave Caillebotte: The Painter’s Eye (exhibition catalogue), op. cit., p. 100). Caillebotte would go on to exhibit with the Impressionist group in the majority of their subsequent exhibitions including the Fourth Impressionist Exhibition in 1879 where Caillebotte submitted La Rue Halévy, vue du sixième étage.

From 1875 until 1882 Caillebotte made several paintings that thematized novel vantage points, exploring the confrontation between interior and exterior spaces in the new city (see figs. 1 & 2). Caillebotte’s scenes of urban realism would become his hallmark and these paintings were a testament to the transformation of the city of Paris in the middle of the nineteenth century. As part of the ambitious reforms Napoleon III introduced during the 1860s, Georges-Eugène Haussmann was charged with masterminding a radical reconfiguration of Paris. Many parts of the medieval city were razed to provide space for an extensive grid of straight roads, avenues and boulevards (see fig. 3). The "Haussmannisation" of Paris, which is celebrated today as the precursor to modern urban planning, set the tempo for modern life. Haussmann’s expansive boulevards were the landscape of Parisian modernity and the setting of the ever-changing, ephemeral moments which formed the essence of the renovated city. Whereas the pre-Haussmannian, essentially Medieval Paris was made up of buildings that held interior courtyards, the modern apartment buildings that characterized the architecture of the new city had grand balconies and large windows that faced toward the street, offering startling new views of the boulevards below. Impressionist painters Camille Pissarro and Claude Monet frequently chose views of the French capital that captured the grandeur and commotion of the modern city (see fig. 4). Caillebotte explored this theme as well, painting in the midst of the bustling streets and in innovative compositions from an elevated vantage point above.

In La Rue Halévy, vue du sixième étage the artist has adopted a viewpoint well above the lively city boulevards below. The plunging perspective is heightened by the embrasure of window visible along the left edge which further enhances the sense of a place, a window on the upper floors overlooking the urban environment. From his elevated vantage point Caillebotte is afforded the freedom to view and manipulate perspective, tilting the ground of the picture plane in a manner that has been considered characteristic of his work and one of his greatest contributions in the move towards Modernism. Much like his vision of life in modern Paris, Caillebotte’s style combines new and old in a thoroughly contemporary manner; he retained a clarity in his draftsmanship that is related more to the French realist tradition, and yet uses radical compositional and perspectival devices that are entirely avant-garde.

The first owner of La Rue Halévy, vue du sixième étage was Caillebotte’s life-long friend, Paul Hugot. Hugot was an early supporter of Caillebotte and owned the largest collection of his work outside the Caillebotte family, including a life-size portrait the artist painted of Hugot in 1878. La Rue Halévy, vue du sixième étage was later in the notable collection of prominent New York industrialist Chester Roth. The present work has been included in major retrospective exhibitions of Caillebotte’s work and in numerous publications as a supreme example of the artist’s pioneering urban naturalism.

The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by the Comité Caillebotte.