Monday, December 9, 2013

Eye Candy for Today: Caillebotte's rooftops in snow

Rooftops (snow effect), Gustave Caillebotte
Rooftops (snow effect), Gustave Caillebotte

On the Google Art Project. Original is in the Musée d’Orsay. There is also a high res image (7.7mb) and short article on Wikipedia.

One of my favorite paintings. By anyone. Ever.

You’ll see versions of this image on the web, or even in print, in which the color has been exaggerated to the point where the chimneys are bright red — sorry, wrong.

Here’s a clue for the people who like to do that kind of thing (presumably to make the images “prettier”): the Impressionists weren’t deliberately seeking to use “bright color” for its own sake; their use of sometimes brilliant color was a result of their search for the fleeting effects of light and atmosphere.

Just as often, though less frequently highlighted in books and reproductions, their paintings were about fog, mist, atmosphere and subtle color. They were capturing the effects of light in the natural world, as affected by time of day, season and weather. Caillebotte gives you a clue right in the sub-title of his painting: Vue de toits (Effet de neige) — “(snow effect)“.

4 thoughts on “Eye Candy for Today: Caillebotte's rooftops in snow

  1. Kate

    At the risk of being sycophantic, before I had seen this, one of MY favourite paintings, by anyone, ever, was The Floor Scrapers … Now I’m not so sure. This is marvelous.

  2. Katherine Tyrrell

    I’ve got to agree with you. It’s one I linger long over when visiting the Musee d”Orsay – if it’s not out on loan as it’s very popular

    Caillebotte generally doesn’t get the attention he deserves in my view.

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