Gustave Caillebotte Quotes Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Gustave Caillebotte was an artist who could afford to spend time pondering his own work and life in general, with no financial burden of having to earn a living. Despite this, there are still relatively few quotes available from his lifetime, mainly due to the lower prominence that his career took in relation to other impressionist artists.

The Impressionist movement itself has received an extraordinary level of interest from academics and art historians. This groundbreaking development in French art would leave a mark right across the whole European continent and this ensured that even those more on the fringes, such as Caillebotte, have still been covered in detail, at least by domestic enthusiasts. His own work is dispersed across the country and into North America, making it hard to put together a comprehensive study or exhibition of his work but some documentation has been discovered from his life, such as letters and other correspondence, which helps us to build up a better understanding of his own personality and what views he held on a variety of topics.

That said, directly attributable quotes have been harder to unearth and some of those have probably remained untranslated from their native French language. What you can find below is a list of Caillebotte quotes that we can confidently attribute to this great artist, as well as some accompanying comments on his life from other artists of that period plus also some notable European art historians. It is fair to say that his unique approach that merged the best elements of impressionism and realism have received a more enthusiastic reception in recent years than they did during his own lifetime.

Famous Quotes by Gustave Caillebotte

I give to the French State the paintings which I have; nevertheless, since I want that this donation be accepted and in such a manner that the paintings go neither in an attic nor in a province museum, but well in the Luxembourg Museum and later in the Louvre Museum, it is necessary that a certain time passes before execution of this clause until the public, I do not say understand, but admit this new painting. This time may be twenty years at the maximum. Until then, my brother Martial, and at his defect another of my heirs, will preserve them. I request Renoir to be my executor...

Caillebotte, in his will of 1876

Quotes about Gustave Caillebotte

At last, I will name Mr. Caillebotte, a young painter of the most beautiful courage and who does not give up in front of full-size modern subjects. His Street of Paris by a rainy weather shows pedestrians, especially a man and a lady in the foreground which are of a beautiful truth. When his talent will have softened a little, Mr. Caillebotte will certainly be one of the boldest of the group.

Émile Zola