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Gustave Caillebotte was a particularly keen gardener and he would make use of some stunning French gardens as the basis for his work as an artist. The scene found here is of his own garden in Petit Gennevilliers.
Whilst all art historians are aware of Claude Monet's self-designed garden which featured his Japanese Bridge and Water Lilies, few are aware of his colleague's similar work in this area. They would exchange gardening knowledge from time to time and shared a great passion for the outdoors. The foreground of this painting by Caillebotte is a bush of beautiful Dahlias, whose bright colours is ideally suited to an artist who worked on the fringes of the impressionist movement.
The charming composition found here features the artist's own house in the background as well as a classically dressed lady and a small dog. Behind the dahlias is a large greenhouse from where perhaps he would work in the cold winters. Many photographs have been uncovered that reveal Caillebotte's activities within his garden and it was somewhere that provided him with peace and tranquility away from busy urban life.
This painting was generously donated to the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, USA by the Scharffenberger family of California who built up an enviable art collection. At the time of writing, it is placed next to Monet's Artist's Garden at Vétheuil, an ideal partner to this horticultural enthusiast. Most of Caillebotte's paintings have been dispersed across France into private collections so only a few can be visited by the public currently.