Skip to Content

The museum is temporarily closed. Learn more.

Paris Street; Rainy Day

Life-size painting of an urban scene in Paris. A man in a top hat holding an umbrella and a woman in a long fashionable dark dress walk arm in arm toward the viewer as other city dwellers with umbrellas walk in various directions across cobblestone roads and sidewalks.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • Life-size painting of an urban scene in Paris. A man in a top hat holding an umbrella and a woman in a long fashionable dark dress walk arm in arm toward the viewer as other city dwellers with umbrellas walk in various directions across cobblestone roads and sidewalks.

Date:

1877

Artist:

Gustave Caillebotte
(French, 1848-1894)

About this artwork

This complex intersection, just minutes away from the Saint-Lazare train station, represents in microcosm the changing urban milieu of late nineteenth-century Paris. Gustave Caillebotte grew up near this district when it was a relatively unsettled hill with narrow, crooked streets. As part of a new city plan designed by Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann, these streets were relaid and their buildings razed during the artist’s lifetime. In this monumental urban view, which measures almost seven by ten feet and is considered the artist’s masterpiece, Caillebotte strikingly captured a vast, stark modernity, complete with life-size figures strolling in the foreground and wearing the latest fashions. The painting’s highly crafted surface, rigorous perspective, and grand scale pleased Parisian audiences accustomed to the academic aesthetic of the official Salon. On the other hand, its asymmetrical composition, unusually cropped forms, rain-washed mood, and candidly contemporary subject stimulated a more radical sensibility. For these reasons, the painting dominated the celebrated Impressionist exhibition of 1877, largely organized by the artist himself. In many ways, Caillebotte’s frozen poetry of the Parisian bourgeoisie prefigures Georges Seurat’s luminous Sunday on La Grande Jatte—1884, painted less than a decade later.

On View

Painting and Sculpture of Europe, Gallery 201

Artist

Gustave Caillebotte

Title

Paris Street; Rainy Day

Origin

Paris

Date

Made 1877

Medium

Oil on canvas

Inscriptions

Inscribed at lower left: G. Caillebotte. 1877

Dimensions

212.2 × 276.2 cm (83 1/2 × 108 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester Collection

Reference Number

1964.336

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

Share

Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions

Share