Between 1860 and 1879, the French impressionist painter, Gustave Caillebotte lived in Yerres, France. While living there, he produced several works based on his time there. One of those paintings is the picture titled ‘The Park at Yerres’.
The Park at Yerres
Caillebotte painted the picture of ‘The Park at Yerres’ in 1877, early in his career. It is a landscape painting that is oil on canvass. The painting measures 81 cm x 59 cm. It is part of a private collection.
The painting shows the viewer the flowers and landscape garden which surround the Caillebotte’s house. In the bottom half of the picture, there is a sweeping footpath. On one side of the path, a variety of different coloured flowers line the border. Caillebotte uses the footpath to draw the viewers’ eye along it and up to the columns of the house in the background. The trees that dominate the top half of the painting obscure a large part of the Italian style house where Caillebotte lived.
‘The Park at Yerres’ is typical of Caillebotte’s painting of domestic scenes around the house in Yerres. Another of his paintings using this theme is The Orange Trees (Les Orangers). It is a portrait piece set in the garden of the house. In painting domestic scenes, Caillebotte uses a soft impressionistic style similar to Renoir. Unlike his urban paintings, which have a sharper style, what Caillebotte does is to show the viewer the calm and relaxing nature of the garden.
Despite Caillebotte’s involvement with other French Impressionist painters, he did not play a key role in the movement. It is his contribution as a patron for which he’s noted. Because of his wealth, Caillebotte was able to support himself as a painter. As a patron, he was also supporting other artists. Using his wealth, Caillebotte contributed to activities by other Impressionist painters. For example, he helped by financially supporting several independent exhibitions of their works.
Caillebotte’s Style and Influence
While many view Caillebotte as part of the Impressionist art movement, some of his pictures are in the style of Realism. Caillebotte’s style of painting varies across his other works. Painters who influenced him include the likes of Jean-Francois Millet, Gustave Courbet, and Degas.