I did not know the work of Gustave Caillebotte. Furthermore, I did not know that I love the work of Gustave Caillbotte. Now, I do.
Caillebotte was an impressionist painter as well as an engineer, art collector, naval architect, and yachtsman who lived in Paris in the 1800's. Perhaps you have seen these posters for the show at the Brooklyn Museum posted around town.
He was friends with, and bought many paintings of, Degas, Renoir, Pisarro, Monet, Manet, and Cezanne. But his own work differs from his contemporaries. He washes his work in that thin, pale mauve-gray lighting impressionists were so fond of and he paints scenes on the Seine like the others. The end result, though, is more precise, more photorealistic. Simply put, his work "takes you there."
And when I say, "there," I really mean, "away from here." Don't get me wrong, I love living in NYC but one needs a mental breaks from all the hubbub. So when I find something that allows me even five minutes of escape, I grab it.
So at the Brooklyn Museum, I engaged in some class A escapism with Caillebotte and contemporary artist Hernan Bas. I plunged in, as it were, since they both find inspiration in the nautical. By Bas:
Are the sailboat ice pop molds to die for or what? You have to let them sit for a second before even attempting to take off the sail and even then, you have to pull a lot harder than with other molds. I thought I was going to break it the shape but alas...
the end result was rather pretty. Merci, Monsieur Caillebotte!