Self-Portrait by Gustave Caillebotte (1892)

This self-portrait of one of the lesser-known Impressionists is stunning.

Caillebotte is sometimes caught between being considered an Impressionist and a realistic painter. There is no problem here, except for people who need categories to exist. Caillebotte was one of the most astute painters of his native Paris, using the overlapping of Impressionism and Realism to make his point.

I simply love the unflinching stare of the painter at his audience. This is a man who sees clearly and paints honestly–without flattery or flinching. What is to flunch at or hide from, after all? His Paris, the Paris of the 1880s and 1890s, was the most exciting and ridiculous and troubled city of the time…

You probably know this one… again, one of my favorites.


One thought on “Self-Portrait by Gustave Caillebotte (1892)

  1. Andy says:

    Nice post. I like that portrait too. Remember to hold it in front of a mirror to see his true form, as he looked in a mirror to paint it. There’s another self-portrait where he is holding a paint brush in his left hand. He was not left-handed.

    From 6 Oct 2012 through 8 Jan 2012 in Québec City (CYQB) there will be an expo, nearly the exact same one that was at the Musée (Museum) Jacquemart-André in Paris this past Spring, that will show 50 paintings of my cousin Gustave, and 150 photos from his younger brother, Martial. I hope you can make the trip. You can find more info about him and the expo on my blog @ or follow me on twitter @MyFamilyJules.

    Btw, what major city are you near? Have you had a chance to see any of his paintings in person? That portrait is in the Musée D’Orsay in Paris, which is just across the Seine river from the Louvre, but is actually part of the Louvre. Although it varies slightly from this, generally, everything before 1870 is in the Louvre, and everything after 1870 is in the Musée D’Orsay, which is where Gustave’s paintings are that are owned by France.

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