25 April 2006

Masterpeice Monday #2: Gustave Caillebotte

Here is one of my favorite paintings ever and this is really the first time I'll try breaking it down artistically. The painting uses a central eye level creating a strong illusion that we are there on the same street with these people. You almost feel like you are there and will soon need to step out of the way of the couple approaching you. I think this is one reason I'm drawn into this picture so much. The eye level divides the picture horizontally while the lamp and it's reflection bisect it vertically. The intersection takes place at the central vanishing point creating four rectangles that each contribute a seperate element to the picture.

The lower right has strong shapes and contrasts establishing the foreground.
The lower left has a triangular arrangement between the people that echoes the shape of the building above it and establishes the middle ground.
The upper right links the foreground and background.
The upper left establishes the background.
So once again the composition has an extreme foreground, a middle ground, and a background.

I also enjoy the colors he used to express the mood. The greys and browns adding to the mood that is associated with rainy days. A wonderful wonderful painting indeed.

1 comment:

Lori Witzel said...

Another cool thing about this? It reflects the impact of the very nascent art of photography. Cropping like you see on the right, and like you'd see in a number of Degas' paintings, was a fresh, somewhat radical take on the picture plane.

Have fun! Keep looking at things! Keep drawing!