An Artist’s Inspiration: The Caillebotte Family Estate

One can imagine Gustave Caillebotte sitting in his garden or in the sprawling park at the riverside, taking in the bucolic landscape and committing the serenity of a single moment to canvas.

When Gustave Caillebotte was twelve years old, his family purchased an estate on the banks of the river in Yerres, southeast of Paris. It was here that Caillebotte began to paint. This grand estate remained in his family until 1879 and became the setting that would inspire a promising young impressionist painter. Scenes from these grounds fill some of his most celebrated works – leisure activities at the river, the idyllic park, and of course, the gardens. Caillebotte’s paintings from this time are among his best examples of the Impressionist tradition of painting en plein air. One can imagine the artist sitting in his garden or in the sprawling park at the riverside, taking in the bucolic landscape and committing the serenity of a single moment to canvas. He ultimately completed around 80 paintings here. Among those works is this 1877 oil on canvas of the artist’s gardens at Yerres and the valley beyond.

  • Caillebotte-garden1-web
    (from left:) Gustave Caillebotte in his greenhouse, 1892; “Vue du Jardin de l’Artiste et de la Vallee de Yerres”, 1877
  • Caillebotte-garden-v2-web
    Garden at Propriété Caillebotte,Yerres
  • Caillebotte-garden-v3-web
    (from left:) “Boating on the Yerres”, 1877, Milwaukee Art Museum; “The Kitchen Garden, Yerres”, 1877, Private Collection

Here, Caillebotte joins the most influential Impressionist painters who sought inspiration from their gardens, most notably his contemporary and friend Claude Monet. Both avid gardeners, Caillebotte and Monet had mutual admiration and support for each other’s work. By the time Caillebotte painted this scene, he had purchased several of his friend’s paintings, becoming a benefactor and advocate for Monet’s success. In a letter to Caillebotte, Monet once wrote, “My dear friend, don’t forget to come Monday as agreed, all my irises will be in bloom.”

Caillebotte’s beloved family estate, now the Propriété Caillebotte Museum, has recently been fully restored to its mid-19th century form. The mansion, park, gardens, and even the artist’s studio, are as Caillebotte would have found them. The grounds host the grand neoclassical-style mansion, an aviary, greenhouse, chapel, the Swiss Chalet – decorated in a style favored by the artist’s father – and the Ferme Ornée, which is now an exhibition space. In 2014, the museum presented an exhibition of 43 masterworks by Caillebotte, including this 1877 painting of the gardens, alongside works from the collections of the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the Musée d’Orsay.

More to explore

Learn more about Gustave Caillebotte’s painting, “Vue du Jardin de l’Artiste”
Enjoy a video tour of Propriété Caillebotte
“Caillebotte À Yerres: au temps de l’impressionism”, exhibition at Propriété Caillebotte, 2014

Art Detail

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GUSTAVE CAILLEBOTTE (1848-1894)

 
Gustave Caillebotte’s paintings of his country home at Yerres display soft brushwork and a pastel palette typical of the Impressionists. Although closely associated with that movement, Caillebotte drew inspiration from other approaches as well, resulting in a style closer to Realism than many of his contemporaries. He aimed to paint the world as he observed it, producing works that resisted theatricality in favor of a more grounded sense of reality. His noteworthy urban scenes employ flatter colors and dramatic perspectives inspired by Japanese wood block prints. One such example, created in the same year as the present work, is one of his best-known paintings, "Paris Street; Rainy Day" at the Art Institute of Chicago.
<br>
<br>Caillebotte did not only contribute his painting to the Impressionist movement, but also became a crucial benefactor upon receiving a sizable inheritance. He helped to fund exhibitions, purchased works for his own collection, and even paid rent for Claude Monet’s studio. 
<br>
<br>This canvas from 1877 belonged to the personal collection of American Impressionist Mary Cassatt until her death in 1926. Here, Caillebotte’s delicate paint handling compliments his measured use of color. Naturalistic hues of the artist’s garden and the valley beyond – a bed of cool green and blue that divide the canvas into contrasting swaths of heavy and light tones – underscore the details touched by light. Gustave Caillebotte’s paintings of his country home at Yerres display soft brushwork and a pastel palette typical of the Impressionists. Although closely associated with that movement, Caillebotte drew inspiration from other approaches as well, resulting in a style closer to Realism than many of his contemporaries. He aimed to paint the world as he observed it, producing works that resisted theatricality in favor of a more grounded sense of reality. His noteworthy urban scenes employ flatter colors and dramatic perspectives inspired by Japanese wood block prints. One such example, created in the same year as the present work, is one of his best-known paintings, "Paris Street; Rainy Day" at the Art Institute of Chicago.
<br>
<br>Caillebotte did not only contribute his painting to the Impressionist movement, but also became a crucial benefactor upon receiving a sizable inheritance. He helped to fund exhibitions, purchased works for his own collection, and even paid rent for Claude Monet’s studio. 
<br>
<br>This canvas from 1877 belonged to the personal collection of American Impressionist Mary Cassatt until her death in 1926. Here, Caillebotte’s delicate paint handling compliments his measured use of color. Naturalistic hues of the artist’s garden and the valley beyond – a bed of cool green and blue that divide the canvas into contrasting swaths of heavy and light tones – underscore the details touched by light. Gustave Caillebotte’s paintings of his country home at Yerres display soft brushwork and a pastel palette typical of the Impressionists. Although closely associated with that movement, Caillebotte drew inspiration from other approaches as well, resulting in a style closer to Realism than many of his contemporaries. He aimed to paint the world as he observed it, producing works that resisted theatricality in favor of a more grounded sense of reality. His noteworthy urban scenes employ flatter colors and dramatic perspectives inspired by Japanese wood block prints. One such example, created in the same year as the present work, is one of his best-known paintings, "Paris Street; Rainy Day" at the Art Institute of Chicago.
<br>
<br>Caillebotte did not only contribute his painting to the Impressionist movement, but also became a crucial benefactor upon receiving a sizable inheritance. He helped to fund exhibitions, purchased works for his own collection, and even paid rent for Claude Monet’s studio. 
<br>
<br>This canvas from 1877 belonged to the personal collection of American Impressionist Mary Cassatt until her death in 1926. Here, Caillebotte’s delicate paint handling compliments his measured use of color. Naturalistic hues of the artist’s garden and the valley beyond – a bed of cool green and blue that divide the canvas into contrasting swaths of heavy and light tones – underscore the details touched by light. Gustave Caillebotte’s paintings of his country home at Yerres display soft brushwork and a pastel palette typical of the Impressionists. Although closely associated with that movement, Caillebotte drew inspiration from other approaches as well, resulting in a style closer to Realism than many of his contemporaries. He aimed to paint the world as he observed it, producing works that resisted theatricality in favor of a more grounded sense of reality. His noteworthy urban scenes employ flatter colors and dramatic perspectives inspired by Japanese wood block prints. One such example, created in the same year as the present work, is one of his best-known paintings, "Paris Street; Rainy Day" at the Art Institute of Chicago.
<br>
<br>Caillebotte did not only contribute his painting to the Impressionist movement, but also became a crucial benefactor upon receiving a sizable inheritance. He helped to fund exhibitions, purchased works for his own collection, and even paid rent for Claude Monet’s studio. 
<br>
<br>This canvas from 1877 belonged to the personal collection of American Impressionist Mary Cassatt until her death in 1926. Here, Caillebotte’s delicate paint handling compliments his measured use of color. Naturalistic hues of the artist’s garden and the valley beyond – a bed of cool green and blue that divide the canvas into contrasting swaths of heavy and light tones – underscore the details touched by light. Gustave Caillebotte’s paintings of his country home at Yerres display soft brushwork and a pastel palette typical of the Impressionists. Although closely associated with that movement, Caillebotte drew inspiration from other approaches as well, resulting in a style closer to Realism than many of his contemporaries. He aimed to paint the world as he observed it, producing works that resisted theatricality in favor of a more grounded sense of reality. His noteworthy urban scenes employ flatter colors and dramatic perspectives inspired by Japanese wood block prints. One such example, created in the same year as the present work, is one of his best-known paintings, "Paris Street; Rainy Day" at the Art Institute of Chicago.
<br>
<br>Caillebotte did not only contribute his painting to the Impressionist movement, but also became a crucial benefactor upon receiving a sizable inheritance. He helped to fund exhibitions, purchased works for his own collection, and even paid rent for Claude Monet’s studio. 
<br>
<br>This canvas from 1877 belonged to the personal collection of American Impressionist Mary Cassatt until her death in 1926. Here, Caillebotte’s delicate paint handling compliments his measured use of color. Naturalistic hues of the artist’s garden and the valley beyond – a bed of cool green and blue that divide the canvas into contrasting swaths of heavy and light tones – underscore the details touched by light. Gustave Caillebotte’s paintings of his country home at Yerres display soft brushwork and a pastel palette typical of the Impressionists. Although closely associated with that movement, Caillebotte drew inspiration from other approaches as well, resulting in a style closer to Realism than many of his contemporaries. He aimed to paint the world as he observed it, producing works that resisted theatricality in favor of a more grounded sense of reality. His noteworthy urban scenes employ flatter colors and dramatic perspectives inspired by Japanese wood block prints. One such example, created in the same year as the present work, is one of his best-known paintings, "Paris Street; Rainy Day" at the Art Institute of Chicago.
<br>
<br>Caillebotte did not only contribute his painting to the Impressionist movement, but also became a crucial benefactor upon receiving a sizable inheritance. He helped to fund exhibitions, purchased works for his own collection, and even paid rent for Claude Monet’s studio. 
<br>
<br>This canvas from 1877 belonged to the personal collection of American Impressionist Mary Cassatt until her death in 1926. Here, Caillebotte’s delicate paint handling compliments his measured use of color. Naturalistic hues of the artist’s garden and the valley beyond – a bed of cool green and blue that divide the canvas into contrasting swaths of heavy and light tones – underscore the details touched by light. Gustave Caillebotte’s paintings of his country home at Yerres display soft brushwork and a pastel palette typical of the Impressionists. Although closely associated with that movement, Caillebotte drew inspiration from other approaches as well, resulting in a style closer to Realism than many of his contemporaries. He aimed to paint the world as he observed it, producing works that resisted theatricality in favor of a more grounded sense of reality. His noteworthy urban scenes employ flatter colors and dramatic perspectives inspired by Japanese wood block prints. One such example, created in the same year as the present work, is one of his best-known paintings, "Paris Street; Rainy Day" at the Art Institute of Chicago.
<br>
<br>Caillebotte did not only contribute his painting to the Impressionist movement, but also became a crucial benefactor upon receiving a sizable inheritance. He helped to fund exhibitions, purchased works for his own collection, and even paid rent for Claude Monet’s studio. 
<br>
<br>This canvas from 1877 belonged to the personal collection of American Impressionist Mary Cassatt until her death in 1926. Here, Caillebotte’s delicate paint handling compliments his measured use of color. Naturalistic hues of the artist’s garden and the valley beyond – a bed of cool green and blue that divide the canvas into contrasting swaths of heavy and light tones – underscore the details touched by light. Gustave Caillebotte’s paintings of his country home at Yerres display soft brushwork and a pastel palette typical of the Impressionists. Although closely associated with that movement, Caillebotte drew inspiration from other approaches as well, resulting in a style closer to Realism than many of his contemporaries. He aimed to paint the world as he observed it, producing works that resisted theatricality in favor of a more grounded sense of reality. His noteworthy urban scenes employ flatter colors and dramatic perspectives inspired by Japanese wood block prints. One such example, created in the same year as the present work, is one of his best-known paintings, "Paris Street; Rainy Day" at the Art Institute of Chicago.
<br>
<br>Caillebotte did not only contribute his painting to the Impressionist movement, but also became a crucial benefactor upon receiving a sizable inheritance. He helped to fund exhibitions, purchased works for his own collection, and even paid rent for Claude Monet’s studio. 
<br>
<br>This canvas from 1877 belonged to the personal collection of American Impressionist Mary Cassatt until her death in 1926. Here, Caillebotte’s delicate paint handling compliments his measured use of color. Naturalistic hues of the artist’s garden and the valley beyond – a bed of cool green and blue that divide the canvas into contrasting swaths of heavy and light tones – underscore the details touched by light. Gustave Caillebotte’s paintings of his country home at Yerres display soft brushwork and a pastel palette typical of the Impressionists. Although closely associated with that movement, Caillebotte drew inspiration from other approaches as well, resulting in a style closer to Realism than many of his contemporaries. He aimed to paint the world as he observed it, producing works that resisted theatricality in favor of a more grounded sense of reality. His noteworthy urban scenes employ flatter colors and dramatic perspectives inspired by Japanese wood block prints. One such example, created in the same year as the present work, is one of his best-known paintings, "Paris Street; Rainy Day" at the Art Institute of Chicago.
<br>
<br>Caillebotte did not only contribute his painting to the Impressionist movement, but also became a crucial benefactor upon receiving a sizable inheritance. He helped to fund exhibitions, purchased works for his own collection, and even paid rent for Claude Monet’s studio. 
<br>
<br>This canvas from 1877 belonged to the personal collection of American Impressionist Mary Cassatt until her death in 1926. Here, Caillebotte’s delicate paint handling compliments his measured use of color. Naturalistic hues of the artist’s garden and the valley beyond – a bed of cool green and blue that divide the canvas into contrasting swaths of heavy and light tones – underscore the details touched by light. Gustave Caillebotte’s paintings of his country home at Yerres display soft brushwork and a pastel palette typical of the Impressionists. Although closely associated with that movement, Caillebotte drew inspiration from other approaches as well, resulting in a style closer to Realism than many of his contemporaries. He aimed to paint the world as he observed it, producing works that resisted theatricality in favor of a more grounded sense of reality. His noteworthy urban scenes employ flatter colors and dramatic perspectives inspired by Japanese wood block prints. One such example, created in the same year as the present work, is one of his best-known paintings, "Paris Street; Rainy Day" at the Art Institute of Chicago.
<br>
<br>Caillebotte did not only contribute his painting to the Impressionist movement, but also became a crucial benefactor upon receiving a sizable inheritance. He helped to fund exhibitions, purchased works for his own collection, and even paid rent for Claude Monet’s studio. 
<br>
<br>This canvas from 1877 belonged to the personal collection of American Impressionist Mary Cassatt until her death in 1926. Here, Caillebotte’s delicate paint handling compliments his measured use of color. Naturalistic hues of the artist’s garden and the valley beyond – a bed of cool green and blue that divide the canvas into contrasting swaths of heavy and light tones – underscore the details touched by light.
Vue du Jardin de l’Artiste et de la Vallée de Yerres187719 1/8 x 25 1/2 in.(48.58 x 64.77 cm) oil on canvas
Provenance
Mary Cassatt, Chateau de Beaufresne, Mesnil-Theribus, until 1926
Private Collection, by descent
Sale at Chateau de Monneville 1946
Jean and Francois Ryaux, France
Collection of David Schaff, Washington
Sotheby’s NY November 11, 1987, no. 9 Sale, Sotheby’s NY May 18 1990, no. 317
Private Collection, Canada, 1990
Private Collection
Literature
P. Wittmer, Caillebotte au jardin. La période d’Yerres (1860-1879), Saint-Rémy-en-l’Eau, Edition d’Art Monelle Hayot, 1990, illustrated pg. 65
M. Berhau
...More...t, Gustave Caillebotte, Catalogue Raisonné des peintures et pastels, Paris, 1994, no. 82, illustrated pg. 103
...LESS...
Gustave Caillebotte’s paintings of his country home at Yerres display soft brushwork and a pastel palette typical of the Impressionists. Although closely associated with that movement, Caillebotte drew inspiration from other approaches as well, resulting in a style closer to Realism than many of his contemporaries. He aimed to paint the world as he observed it, producing works that resisted theatricality in favor of a more grounded sense of reality. His noteworthy urban scenes employ flatter colors and dramatic perspectives inspired by Japanese wood block prints. One such example, created in the same year as the present work, is one of his best-known paintings, "Paris Street; Rainy Day" at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Caillebotte did not only contribute his painting to the Impressionist movement, but also became a crucial benefactor upon receiving a sizable inheritance. He helped to fund exhibitions, purchased works for his own collection, and even paid rent for Claude Monet’s studio.

This canvas from 1877 belonged to the personal collection of American Impressionist Mary Cassatt until her death in 1926. Here, Caillebotte’s delicate paint handling compliments his measured use of color. Naturalistic hues of the artist’s garden and the valley beyond – a bed of cool green and blue that divide the canvas into contrasting swaths of heavy and light tones – underscore the details touched by light.
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