Caillebotte, Gustave

Impressionism, the partakers of the expositions:

Gustave Caillebotte


A major Impressionist



Was Gustave Caillebotte an Impressionist?
Though Caillebotte was not part of the start of Impressionism, he joined 5 of the 8 expositions, was active in organizing them and supported them financially. He had many contacts with key figures like Degas, Monet and Renoir. The impressionist paintings of his collection (many of them in musée d’Orsay) are among the most appreciated paintings. In that sense, with a delay, Caillebotte was a key figure within the ‘impressionist’ art-movement.
Though some of his earlier works are quite colourful, in most of them Caillebotte uses a lot of blacks, browns and greys. Also in his later interiors and portraits Caillebotte will use many browns and blacks and subdued colours. In his earlier works his brushstroke is quite smooth and he renders several details. Depicting every day scenes he best can be placed in the realist art-movement in line of Courbet, Manet and Degas. But during 1877 his palet changes. Caillebotte starts to use bright colours, uses juxtaposed brushstrokes and renders coloured shades. Black suits are rendered with blues. So most of his oeuvre is rendered in an impressionist painting style. All this make him a major Impressionist.


Gustave Caillebotte joined the ‘impressionist’ expositions five times:
At the 2nd ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1876 Caillebotte showed 8 works. His style was more realistic and he used many browns. Moffett writes that Caillebotte was invited by Degas (R2,px). But another source mentions Degas had already invited him in 1874 after they met in the house of De Nittis. In 1876 it was Renoir who invited him (iR70).
At the 3rd ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1877 Caillebotte showed 6 works. His style was still more realistic. Caillebotte organized this 3rd exposition and supported it financially (R41,p58;R9).
At the 4th ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1879 Caillebotte showed exhibited at least 25+4hc=29 works, including at least 4 works outside the catalogue (=hc), 6 pastels; 7 works depicted Canoers and 9 portraits. His style had become more impressionistic. Caillebotte also took care of the hanging of the paintings of Monet (R6,p165).
At the 5th ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1880 Caillebotte showed 11 works, including 3 pastels and including 7 portraits / figure paintings.
At the 7th ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1882 Caillebotte showed 17+1hc=18 works, including 9 works made at the Normandy coast and 5 portraits / figure paintings. Caillebotte was active in the preparations (R41,p58).
See link for an account.

Gustave Caillebotte at other exhibitions:
Caillebotte never exhibited at the Salon, nor at regional exhibitions noted in the Salon database (iR1). In 1874 and 1875 (and maybe also in 1873) his admission to the Salon was rejected (R41,p54+;R9;iR3;R102,no8;R88II,p397;R88I,p193). 1877/05/28: there were 4 works of Caillebotte at an auction sale at Hôtel Drouot (R102,p293). In 1886 Caillebotte exhibits with 11 works at the ‘Impressionists of Paris’ in New York, organised by Durand-Ruel (=DR1886-x; R102,p283;R41). 1888: Caillebotte exhibits 6 works at an exhibition at Durand-Ruel in Paris (=DR1888-x; R102,p283). 1888: Caillebotte exhibits 8 works with ‘Les XX‘ in Brussels (=XX1888-x; R102,p283;R41). 1894/06/04-16: there was a retrospective of 122 works at the galleries of Durand-Ruel (=DR1894-x; R102,p283). And in 1921 there was a retrospective with 49 works at the Salon d’Automne (=SdA1921-x; R102,p283).

Caillebotte as an artist:
1872: Caillebotte has a connection with Giuseppe de Nittis and his family (R41;iR24;R102,no6+7). Caillebotte was the godfather of his son (R41,p54). 1872: journey to Italy (R3;R41;iR24). 1872ca: Caillebotte was a pupil of Léon Bonnat in preparation of his admission to the ‘Ecole des Beaux-Arts‘ (R41,p56;iR24;iR3;R3;R9;R16;R19). 1873: student at the École des Beaux-Arts, which he soon left (R41,p56;iR3;R3;R19).
Some sources mention Caillebotte first painted in an academic style (R13). From 1873-75 Caillebotte was influenced by Bastien-Lepage, Gervex and Lhermitte (R41,p83). First Caillebotte was influenced by the Realism of Degas (R9;R16;iR3). 1875-77: He rendered the daily live without any heroism and without political intentions (R41,p102). At first he used clair-obscure and firm outlines (R41,p20), rendering select details (aR1) and subdued colours (R142,p55). Duret emphasizes that Caillebotte didn’t belong to the first Impressionists and so doesn’t include him in his book (R142,p52). Later on Caillebotte was more influenced by Monet and would lighten up his palet and integrate the impressionist technique (R142,p52/5;R13). 1878 onwards he used juxtaposed touches of pure colours wich produced a vibrating palet of colours. He rendered the play of reflecting colours and figures melting in the landscape (R41,p20). Caillebotte rendered unusual viewpoints and perspectives (R41,p102;iR3;aR1). The presence of the viewer is suggested (R41,p102;iR3). Caillebotte also was influenced by Japonism (R41;iR3). 

Caillebotte had contacts with Monet and Degas (R3). 1883: contacts with Signac, with whom he shares his passion for sailing (R41). Renoir often came to stay at Gennevilliers (iR3). 1881: Caillebotte modelled for Renoir (iR3). 1888/Summer: Renoir and his wife stayed with Caillebotte in Genevilliers (R102,CR391+418).
Until 1878 many of his paintings are made in and around (the family estate) in Yerres (R102). After that he painted many works in and around his appartement at 31, Boulevard Haussmann (R102;iR6). Between 1879-85 Caillebotte made several paintings at the Normandy coasts (R102). 1880 onwards he also would paint many works in and around the new bought estate in Petit-Genevilliers (R102). Here he was the neighbour of his friend Eugène Lamy, whom he also did portray (R102,CR208+394+403) and also his daughter (CR458-60; Note: he is some-one else than Franc Lamy ). 1882 onwards Caillebotte would paint many sailing boats on the Seine in the surroundings of nearby Argenteuil (R102,CR213vv;R41,p31), he would paint the scenes Monet did before, when he lived in Argenteuil from 1871-78 (see pictures below). Pool suggests that in the summer of 1874 they were neighbours, which is not correct (R6,p140). Besides landscapes Caillebotte also made many portraits, family scenes, interieurs and still lives (R102).
Caillebotte financially supports his fellow painters, buys their works 1875/6 onwards. (R16,p82;R3;iR3) and pays the rent of Monet his studio (iR3).
Pool (1967) mentions Caillebotte an amateur-painter (R6,p140). Caillebotte was long neglected and underappreciated (until the 1950s (iR3); until 1876 (R41,p110) (aR1). Solo exhibitions were held in 1894, 1921, 1951, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1976/7, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1989, 1994/5, 2009, 2011, 2012/3, 2013, 2015/6, 2016 (R102,p288;iR24;iR3;iR11).

Caillebotte his bequest:
As mentioned Caillebotte did acquire many painting of his fellow artists. In this way he collected one of the finest collections of impressionist paintings, including 14 paintings of Monet, 10 of Renoir, 9 of Sisley, 7 of Degas, 5 of Cézanne and 4 of Manet. According to his will he wanted to donate it to the French state, to be displayed in Musée de Luxembourg. After his early death in 1994 his brother Martial and Renoir took care of his will. But the French state didn’t want to accept all the paintings. After 2 years 38 n total 68 works were accepted, that are now in Musée d’Orsay. (R5,p197/8). The complete content of the legacy is not fully clear. Geffroy writes about 68 works (aR11,p308=R157,vol.5). Tabarant in La Vie Artistique (1921/08/01) mentions 67 works, including 2 drawings of Millet (aR15, p409). He mentions that in total 38 works were accepted, including 7 pastels of Degas and 31 paintings, including 2 by Cézanne, 2 by Manet, 8 by Monet, 7 by Pissarro, 6 by Renoir, 6 by Sisley. 27 works were rejected, including 2 by Cézanne (Bouquet de Roses and Baigneurs, exhibited SdA1905), 1 by Manet, 8 by Monet, 11 by Pissarro, 2 by Renoir, 3 by Sisley. The 2 drawings by Millet were collected by the Louvre. (aR15,p.412+413). Note: these are different numbers then Denvir mentions (R5,p197/8). Probably Tabarant is missing the work Renoir, who was executor of his will, was allowed to choose, namely Dancing lesson by Degas, a work he would sell again 1898/12/12 (R31,p306+308+267). See link for his -/- bequest.

Gustave Caillebotte, a short biography:

  • 1848/08/19: Gustave Caillebotte was born at 160, Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis in Paris (R102,p280;R41;iR3;iR24).
    At his ‘acte de décés’ his date of birth (wrongly) is mentioned as the 18th (R102,p281;R13).
    He was the oldest child of Martial Caillebotte (1799-1874) and Céleste Daufresne (1819-1876), the third wife of Martial (iR3;R102,p280;R41).
    His parents were rich and belonged to the ‘grand bourgeois’ (R41;R19;iR3).
  • 1850: the family also dwells at 142, Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis, Paris (R41)
  • 1851: his brother René was born (R41;iR3)
  • 1853: his brother Martial was born; he died in 1910 (R41;iR3)
  • 1857-1862: Gustave attends the Lycée Louis-le-Grande (R41)
  • Early 1860s: his father had purchased a large property in Yerres, where the family would spent their summers (iR3); Yerres lies 25km south-east of Paris (iR9).
  • 1866: his father had a house build on 77, Rue de Miromesnil, Paris (iR3). Another source mentions that the family moves in 1868 to an hotel on the corner of Rue Miromesnil and Rue de Lisbonne (R41)
  • 1868: ends his law studies and in 1870 he receives a license to practise law (iR3;R3;R41)
  • 1870/1: Gustave fights in the Franco-Prussian war in the ‘Garde Nationale Mobile de la Seine’ (iR3;R41;R3)
  • 1874/12/02: his father dies; Gustave inherits a great fortune and from than on can be an independent painter (R41;iR3). Other sources mentions this was in 1873 (R3;R16).
  • 1876: his brother René dies (R41;iR3)
  • 1876: Gustave changes his will and writes that his collection of pictures should be given to the French state to be exhibited at the ‘Musée de Luxembourg’ and later in the Louvre (R41;iR3). He would adjust his will again in 1883 (R102,p281).
  • 1877/05/28: Caillebotte took part in an auction at Hôtel Drouot in Paris together with other impressionists, rendering 4 works for sale (R102,p293+no34+35+53+64)
  • 1878/10/20: his mother dies (R102,p94;R41)
  • 1878-79: Gustave and his brother Martial leave the family estate in Yerres (25km south-east of Paris) and move to an appartement at 31, Boulevard Haussmann (R102,p9+117;R41;iR6)
  • 1880-82: Gustave acquires a house in Petit-Gennevilliers on the Quai du Petit-Gennevilliers (former number 77, now a factory terrain); his garden reached the Seine (R102,p9+14+49). Other sources mention this was in 1880 (iR41), in 1881 (iR4), Thompson (2011) mentions this was in 1888 (iR24). Wikipedia mentions he moved there permanently in 1888 (iR3). But probably this was in 1887 after his brother Martial marries and Gustave leaves the Boulevard Haussmann (R102,p8;R41). The first paintings of the Petit-Gennevilliers property date from 1881-82 (R102,CR203).
  • Gustave never married. He had a serious relationship with Charlotte Berthier (iR3).
  • Caillebotte also was passionate in stamp collecting, orchid growing, yacht building and textile design (iR3)
  • 1886/04/10 – 05/25: 11 works of Caillebotte were part of the famous Durand-Ruel exhibition in New York (R102,p283)
  • 1888/05/25 – 06/25: Caillebotte took part with 6 works in an exhibition at Durand-Ruel together with other impressionists like Renoir and Pissarro (R102,p283)
  • 1894/02/21: Gustave dies in his house at the Quai du Petit Gennevilliers (R102,p281;R41;iR24). He died of a heart attack (R3). Some sources render 1894/03/02 as date of death (R13).
  • 1894: Gustave is buried at the Père-Lachaise cemetery (R102,p281;iR3).
  • 1894/06/04-16: retrospective of 122 works in the Durand-Ruel Galleries (R102,p288)
  • 1897: In a review an the Salon (de la Société des Artistes Français) Gustave Geffroy mentions that there was an exhibiton of the 38 works from the Caillebotte legacy who were accepted by the state. According to Geffroy it was badly organised (aR11=R157). The Salondatabase doesn’t confirm this in the 1897 catalogue, nor the Catalogue Illustré (iR1;R322).
  • 1921: retrospective of 49 works of Caillebotte at the Salon d’Automne (R102,p288)


My main sources are the Catalogue Raisonné (=CR) edited by Marie Berhaut (1994=R102=iR183=aR4; and also the earlier edition of 1978=R101=iR184=aR5), Sagner (2013=R167) and the ABCdaire (2005=R41,p116/7). Other sources are Rewald (1973=iR1), Moffett (1986=R2), Walther (2013=R3,p651/2), Denvir (1993=R5), Pool (1967/87=R6), Schurr&Cabanne (2008=R9,p145), Schilderkunst (1987=R13,p102), Spiess (1992=R16,p82-91), Keller (1985=R19,p265), Duret (1878/1923=R142), the Salondatabase (iR1), Wikipedia (iR3), RKD (iR24), and the additional references. For other general references (=R) see. My main sources (for the pictures) from the internet are the-athenaeum (iR2), Wikimedia (iR6), mutualart (iR11), (iR49), (aR8) and Google images (iR10). For other references to internet sites (=iR) see. For other additional references (=aR) see below. See links for practical hints and abbreviations and for the subscription of the paintings.

Further readings:
Note: In the future I want to study the sources more and further adjust this page. For now my main goal was to give an accounted impression of what works Caillebotte did exhibit at the ‘impressionist’ expositions.
Bénézit (1976,Vol.2,p447=R75; 1999,Vol.3,p104-6=R76); Busse (1977,p192=R77); Witt (1978,p47=R78); Thieme/Becker (1911,Vol.5,p361=R79); Allgemeines Künstlerlexicon (1997,Vol.15,p527=R81) (iR24)

Additional references (=aRx):

  1. vertiginous pleasures (article of Phyllis Tuchman (2015/12/17) on mutualart=iR11)
  2. (277 paintings; no info; irritating advertisements and pop-ups)
  3. (info (in English) and about 360 (small) paintings of Caillebotte; not secured)
  4.,biography (online publication of the catalogue Raisonné on Caillebotte by Marie Berhault of 1994, starting with a biography in French;=R102;=iR183),CR (online publication of the catalogue Raisonné on Caillebotte by Marie Berhault of 1994, p59-270, the actual Catalogue Raisonné with info in French;=R102;=iR183),annexes (online publication of the catalogue Raisonné on Caillebotte by Marie Berhault of 1994, p271-318, additional info in French;=R102;=iR183)
  5. (online publication of the catalogue Raisonné on Caillebotte by Marie Berhault of 1978, in French;=R101;=iR184)
  6. “Gustave Caillebotte.” In Database of Modern Exhibitions (DoME). European Paintings and Drawings 1905-1915. Last modified Aug 17, 2019.  =iR261; overview of contributions of Caillebotte in exhibitions and auctions from 1905-1915 (3 entries)
  7. (PDF with pictures and info on the impressionists working in Gennevilliers, including Boudin, Caillebotte, Monet, Morisot, Renoir, Signac, Sisley and Manet; =iR301).
  8. (Japanese website with all the pictures from the 1994 catalogue raisonné of Caillebotte, also English texts)
  9. (site locating the paintings Caillebotte made in Trouville)
  10. (his pictures at Joconde = iR23)
  11. (in Vol.5 of his ‘La vie artistique’ Geffroy reviews the exposition of the legacy of Caillebotte, p307-310; =iR19=R157)
  12. (overview of links to data on Caillebotte; =iR26)
  13. (overview of documents on Caillebotte; = iR40)
  14. (extracts from the anniversary exhibition in 1994+95 in Paris and Chicago: Gustave Caillebotte 1848-1894. Paris, 1994. ; =iR40)
  15. (article of Tabarant in La Vie artistique (1921/08/01) on the legacy of Caillebotte and the retrospective at the Salon d’Automne, p405-413; =iR40)
  16. x


Recommanded citation: “Gustave Caillebotte, a major Impressionist. Last modified 2022/08/28.”