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Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894)
Property from the Estate of Virginia Cornell
Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894)

Bord de rivière, effet de brume matinale

Details
Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894)
Bord de rivière, effet de brume matinale
signed 'G. Caillebotte' (lower left)
oil on canvas
18 x 215/8 in. (45.7 x 54.9 cm.)
Painted circa 1875
Provenance
Blanche Hoschedé, Giverny (gift from the artist, 1885).
Michel Monet, Sorrel-Moussel (by descent from the above, 1947).
Paul Lanzenberg, Paris.
Nat Leeb, Paris (1962).
Wildenstein & Co. Inc., New York.
Acquired from the above by the late owner, 1980.
Literature
M. Berhaut, Caillebotte, sa vie et son oeuvre, Catalogue raisonné des peintures et pastels, Paris, 1978, p. 81, no. 18 (illustrated).
P.H. Feist, Impressionism in France, Cologne, 1993, vol. I, p. 158 (illustrated in color).
M. Berhaut, Gustave Caillebotte, Catalogue raisonné des peintures et pastels, Paris, 1994, p. 71, no. 31 (illustrated).

Lot Essay

The Comité Caillebotte has confirmed the authenticity of this painting.

In 1860, Caillebotte's father purchased a country property with an extensive park that bordered the Yerres River, approximately twelve and a half miles outside of Paris. For the next eighteen years this estate provided the artist with myriad subjects to paint: outbuildings, garden pavilions, greenhouses and the banks of the river. The home was intended as a summer residence for the family who also had a house in Paris and a farm at Champfleury. It was at Yerres that Caillebotte developed his lifelong passion for boating and horticulture. He and his brother maintained the estate until the death of their mother in 1878.

The artist gave the present painting to his cousin Blanche Hoschedé on the occasion of her twentieth birthday. The original stretcher of this painting bore an inscription, "Offert à Blanche pour ses vingt ans." Caillebotte chose this view of the banks of the Yerres River to remind Blanche of her childhood, when she stayed with her father at Montgeron near Yerres.

The painting employs the simplified color palette of purples, grays, blues and greens that characterized Caillebotte's paintings during this early period. The mist rising from the river and the pale sky suggest that the scene was painted in the early hours of the morning. A sense of tranquility permeates the picture and is underscored by the absence of dynamic perspective devices and human figures. Painted just a year after the first Impressionist exhibition, it shows how quickly Caillebotte had grasped the full significance of what the group was attempting. Indeed, in 1876 he sent eight of his own works to the second Impressionist exhibition. The use of the curving path as a device to lead the viewer into the picture is repeated in other works of this period, such as Le Parc de la proprièté Caillebotte à Yerres (Wildenstein no. 25; Private Collection) and Le Jardin à Yerres (Wildenstein no. 39; Private Collection). It foreshadows some of his most important later paintings: Le Pont d'Europe (Wildenstein no. 49; coll. Musée du Petit Palais, Geneva) and Rue de Paris, Temps de Pluie (Wildenstein no. 57; coll. The Art Institute of Chicago).
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