The Comité Caillebotte has confirmed the authenticity of this painting.
In 1882 Gustave Caillebotte and his brother Martial bought a home in Petit Gennevilliers, a small village on the Seine near Argenteuil. Continued infighting among the founding members of the Impressionist group and, in particular, Caillebotte's conflicts with Degas about the future direction of their exhibitions, resulted in Caillebotte's decision to make 1882 his last showing with the group. While he continued to paint in a manner that was faithful to the edicts of Impressionism, he became reclusive in his personal contacts and retreated to his new home, eventually moving there permanently in 1887. The location afforded him the perfect setting to pursue his leisure interests of sailing and gardening, and he turned increasingly to landscape subjects for inspiration in his painting. According to Anne Distel, "(Caillebotte) created a magnificent garden on his property, complemented by a large greenhouse for the cultivation of exotic plants" (Gustave Caillebotte: Urban Impressionist, exh. cat., The Art Institute of Chicago, 1995, p. 21).
Hangar dans le jardin du Petit Gennevilliers is one of eight recorded works painted in 1882 that portrayed the buildings on his property from different vantages. The diagonal path leads to the small home where his sailing companion Joseph Kerbratt lived for a period. This structure was later demolished to build a pond and a new home for Mr. Kerbratt. Like his earlier Yerres and Paris paintings, the free brushwork of Hangar dans le jardin du Petit Gennevilliers conveys immediacy to its subject. Closer inspection, however, reveals that it is actually a carefully ordered composition based on formalist perspective. As Peter Galassi notes, "Caillebotte's space is basically orthodox in method, objectively rendered, and traditional; that it should be at the same time distorted, intuitively subjective and avant-garde is extraordinary" ("Caillebotte's Space," Gustave Caillebotte, New Haven, 1987, p. 26). Clear skies allowed Caillebotte to portray the interplay of light and shadow with a bold palette in many of the works he painted during this period, and the present painting shows Caillebotte's mastery of capturing the subtle variances of light.