I didn’t know it until I entered the middle room of the exhibition, but Paris Street, Rainy Day by Gustave Caillebotte is in the exhibition. I was excited to see this painting up close and in person. If I knew before how huge it was, I had forgotten, but I had to stare at it for a very long time. It is approximately 7 feet tall and 9 feet wide. I’ve got to go back and see it again. Caillebotte, who painted this scene in 1877, was much wealthier than his contemporaries so he didn’t have to paint just to survive. Therefore, his output of work was smaller compared to the volume of paintings by Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, etc.
Paris Street provokes a couple of questions, as the audio tour to the exhibition points out. What is the couple looking at across the street? Are they and the man with the umbrella approaching them going to collide? Caillebotte’s work is more realistic and photographic than impressionistic, as were a few others of his paintings.