Gustave Caillebotte's Paris Street, Rainy Day in Google Maps
January 9, 2009 2:20 AM   Subscribe

Gustave Caillebotte was a French impressionist who painted in a more photograph-like style than many of his friends. (Notice the reflections on the ground in some of his paintings) His Paris Street, Rainy Day (La Place de l'Europe, temps de pluie) was a painting done of an intersection on the Rive Droite of Paris. Can you find other street-view versions of famous cityscapes?
posted by cmchap (12 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Not right now, but there is a Caillebotte hanging in the museum where I work that has inspired much outrage, furor, and heated discussion about its subject matter, her relationship to the painter, and her grooming. It also inspired Mr. Mustachio to buy a proper couch.

It is not a street scene, though. I don't think this couch will show up on Google maps.
posted by louche mustachio at 2:51 AM on January 9, 2009

Can you find other street-view versions of famous cityscapes?

No, I can't, it's too difficult. I expect I shall have to drop back a grade.
posted by Wolof at 4:07 AM on January 9, 2009

Caillebotte's greatest legacy is not his own art, but the art from his personal collection. He formed a formidable cache of major contemporary Impressionist works which he left to the French government upon his death. Most insititutions in France had made no efforts to buy the then still controversial impressionist paintings, and still stuck in the past at the time of Caillebotte's death in 1896 the Institute of France refused almost half of the 67 works bequeathed to them by the artist.

It wasn't until 35+ years after Caillebotte's death that his now incomplete collection was integrated into the Louvre's holdings. Paintings he once owned, of truly mind-boggling value in both artistic and financial terms - Sisley, Pissarro, Cezanne, Renoir, Monet, Degas - are now in the Musee d' Orsay. He remains a respected but minor figure of the Impressionist movement.
posted by fire&wings at 6:03 AM on January 9, 2009 [2 favorites]

I also think this is too difficult. But I like a bit of Caillebotte. I have a print of this on my living room wall.

Caution, features attractive men with their shirts off.
posted by tiny crocodile at 6:05 AM on January 9, 2009

new york city
california suburbs
venice and london before the street view van, there was a guy carting a camera obscura around
posted by pernoctalian at 6:20 AM on January 9, 2009

I didn't know about Gustave Caillebotte and his marvelous, realistic style.

I love comparing then and now in paintings. Here is a New York Times multi-media piece on Edward Hopper’s Cape Cod: Then and Now. It would be a great idea for a blog, just doing that, comparing the painting then and the Google map now.

Wonderful post cmchap.
posted by nickyskye at 6:42 AM on January 9, 2009

Why is he considered "impressionist" if he made photo-realistic paintings?
posted by stbalbach at 7:21 AM on January 9, 2009

Why is he considered "impressionist" if he made photo-realistic paintings?

Some paintings are more photo-realistic than others. Paris Street, Rainy Day IMO seems very typical of impressionists, particularly in the subject matter and in the way the artist made light play off of the wet stones. Maybe it's not as typically "impressionist" as, say, this painting, but there is still a very impressionist quality to it, I think.

I think artists tend to be pigeon-holed to the style of their most well-known works. In my case, at least, I was unaware of many of the other Caillebotte paintings, prior to this post. Thanks cmchap!
posted by tempestuoso at 8:11 AM on January 9, 2009

Richard Estes is an American painter whose work features a lot of street level urban landscapes, some famous some not. Generally regarded as a photorealist, but some of his work has an impressionistic turn to it (at least to my untrained eye.)

34th Street
Art Institute
Lunch Specials
A Decade (48 East 86 NYC)
Central Savings
Paris Street Scene
Cafe Express
Telephone Booths
Urban Landscape #2 [Escalator]
Bus Reflections
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:14 AM on January 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

Paris Street, Rainy Day is pretty impressive in person. Much larger than I expected.
posted by owtytrof at 10:34 AM on January 9, 2009

WOW. I have long adored that Caillebotte painting, and when I went to Paris a few years ago it did cross my mind to wonder where the location was, but I had no idea. I love that someone found it in street view! I must make a note for a return visit - I can go there on a rainy day with an umbrella and have my picture taken...)
posted by dnash at 2:32 PM on January 9, 2009

The intersection is actually just a few blocks away from the house that he was born in. (on rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis) I read the wikipedia article about Caillebotte and looked up the street to see if i'd been there. (i'm a big fan of Paris.) I figured it was probably somewhere near his house, so I just zoomed out on google maps until i found an intersection with enough streets coming together. it was a shot in the dark, but it worked!

I'm glad there are other people who like Caillebotte's work! He was my favorite impressionist when I studied him in my French classes.

I'll have to look into these other artists you guys are talking about. very interesting!
posted by cmchap at 6:29 PM on January 13, 2009

« Older Citizen Science for Epsilon Aurigae   |   Tiny happy people Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments