• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Paris sous la Pluie.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Paris sous la Pluie The first thing that strikes me is the size of the work. About seven feet tall and nine feet wide, this painting dominates its gallery and overwhelms the viewer. The couple in the foreground of the painting is nearly life size, and with the man poised to take another step it seems he might climb right over the frame and walk right into the gallery. The bold perspective thrusts the scene outward, and with details such as the sharply receding roofline of the main building and the acute tilt of the street, geometric and visual effects are created which push and pull the viewer and instill the painting with action. This work is more complex and detailed then one might first imagine, and with such a rich surface and vast array of minutiae it truly requires an "in person" viewing for full comprehension. Painted in 1877 by the wealthy painter/impressionist connoisseur Gustave Caillebotte, Paris, A Rainy Day is a depiction of a familiar five-way intersection in a wealthy area of Paris near the artist's home on a rainy and overcast day. A host of characters are dispersed throughout the canvas, strolling about and engaging in usual daily activities. ...read more.

Middle

Even though the picture appears much more finished and Salonesque than most impressionist works, one still feels the transience and modern quality of the work through its style. The water and muck on the street feel nearly tangible. Interesting atmospheric results are achieved through this style of painting. For instance, the wagon wheel has whitish paint covering up its spokes, an indication of the general haziness of that day. Also, in the distance the names of shops are illegible (except for the pharmacy at the base of the previously mentioned building), and the people in the distance turn into tiny blobs of purplish paint. A creamy white is used by Caillebotte throughout the work to highlight figures and objects, a technique which is especially obvious on the repetitive and pervasive umbrellas. The asymmetrical composition should be noted, and on a final visual remark, one should observe that the figures appear to all be separated by roughly the same physical distance. After absorbing the aesthetic aspects of Caillebotte's masterpiece, it is only logical that one should then ask, "Okay, so what does this mean?" Well, the fact that the painting was chosen to represent a rainy day is the first clue given to decipher a 'theme.' ...read more.

Conclusion

by a woman and the man crossing the street looks only at the ground, disqualifying both these men from the title of flaneur. In the expression on their faces it almost seems as if there is some yearning for prior times. Because this painting is a modern cityscape it is ipso facto a painting of modernity (one thinks of Baudelair) and a record of the fashions of 1877. By recording the actual events of his own time, Caillebotte was part of a somewhat radical new type of painting. His figures are shown accurately in contemporary dress, and he has essentially taken a mundane and fleeting moment and captured it eternally on a monumental scale. Celebrating modernity, while simultaneously casting a critical eye, is one of the signature hallmarks of impressionism and inchoate modern art. Paris, A Rainy Day is a complex work of both technical virtuosity and implied thematic elements which synthesize to engross the viewer visually and entice them mentally to think about urban life and feelings of alienation. The painting conflates multiple issues which surround and form the foundation of the art historical study of the Impressionists' Paris, and remains in its grandeur as a historical visual document, a commentary on urban life, and a testament to modernity. 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Art section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Art essays

  1. Describe the development of the impressionist movement from Van Gogh to Kandinsky and Klee.

    After a couple of year in the Bauhaus, he style became geometrical, which was influenced by the Bauhaus. As we can see in 'The Red Oval' (Figure 16), the shapes become clearer and he used fewer colours now, not so many colours like in the 'Gorge Improvisation'.

  2. Writing about impressionism, about two impressionists and discussing their work.

    Out of all the details in this painting the face of the woman alone stands out the most and I think it tells a lot about the picture. I especially liked the way Renoir made a contrast with her hair to her complexion that brightened the painting more.

  1. On the floor I am more at ease, I feel nearer, more a part ...

    Paul Jackson Pollock was born January 28, 1912, in Cody, Wyoming. He grew up in Arizona and California and in 1928 began to study painting at the Manual Arts High School, Los Angeles. In the fall of 1930, Pollock moved to New York and studied under Thomas Hart Benton at the Art Students League.

  2. Forerunners of Impressionism

    Painters liked their brushes to be long handled and flexible, in order to produce extraordinary effects. The use of texture by Impressionist painters is a key factor in their technique. They would complement and emphasise colour. The use of the tache was not alien to the Impressionists as Zola conducted

  1. William Powell-Frith - Derby Day (1852).

    the canvas of Derby Day, led to the Morning Post to claim that, ...the words needed to give an account of the copy are the very same that would be required to describe the original. 8 Few other contemporary artists attempted to compete with Frith's conception of the Derby Day.

  2. How did the fashions of the 1900's to the 1930's reflect Modernist theories?

    The form of the dress is also made up of shapes and flat planes that are structurally pleated or drape the body in stark contrast. Cubist art suggests motion, which is associated closely to Modernism as Modernism saw the popularisation of the automobile and also reflected the quickly changing times.

  1. Did Max Beckmann's experiences of war contribute to his success as a painter?

    The smell of acrid smoke all around, the cries of pain of his fellow men and the relentless sounds of bombardment meant that the no-mans-land of war on the front was a nightmare from which he could not wake. The horrific void as he saw it instilled in him a sense of complete despair of both place and humanity.

  2. Paul Cezanne, who was the son of a wealthy banker, became a painter in ...

    patchy technique The effect is particularly striking in the subtle greens of the trees and the subtle earth tones. Part of the interest of lies in the balance he creates between the abstract and the real. The forms of foliage, rocks and road are so simplified and generalised that they appear almost abstract.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work