There are several different aspects to this painting which immediately stand out. The carefully planned perspective of this Paris street would have been studied intently by the artist in order to achieve an accurate finish. Several study drawings have been uncovered from around the time of this painting which outline his preparatory techniques. Alongside the attention to detail on the architecture, there are also some highly skilled figurative portraits to be found in this painting, too. These, combined with the impact of the rain across the scene, and helped Paris Street, Rainy Day to be considered as one of Caillebotte's finest works.
One of the benefits of realism is that one can almost reach out and touch this scene, from the material of the clothing and umbrellas to the rain soaked pebbled path. The artist left the sky relatively overcast and plain but then uses any available light to bounce off items elsewhere in the scene. This painting captures Parisien life perfectly from this period and many reflect fondly on this cultural era in the French capital.
The most famous study of light and weather effects on objects would have to be Claude Monet's Haystacks. This French master would depict multiple arrangements of haystacks at different times of the day and in different climatic conditions in order to understand more about the visual changes that would occur. He produced a visual diary of this through a whole series of paintings. He would then do similar with some other items, including the Rouen Cathedral and the Water Lilies in his back garden.