21 May, 2024


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Gustave Caillebotte Finds New Home at The Musée d’Orsay (Gifted by LVMH)

The fabulous Musée d’Orsay in Paris, has recently acquired the world-renowned Impressionist painting by Gustave Caillebotte. The acquisition was “gifted” to the museum, thanks to luxury goods super conglomerate LVMH, which paid a reported €43m ($46.7m) for the work. The formal name of the canvas is “Part of Boat.”

The painting shows a strong, formally dressed male rowing a boat on a Sunday morning on the Seine, here in Paris. The subject featured is handsome and striking, with an athletic body and handsome gaze towards the shoreline. For fans of the male form in art, the subject features thick, muscular legs and a very handsome and manly face, with a beard.

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Gustave Caillebotte was a French Impressionist painter. Known for handsome looks and intense talents in the school of art, known as the Impressionists. He did landscapes, portraits (both commissioned and “slice-of-life” editorial), and academic studies of men and a few women too. He also wasn’t a stranger to the “still-life” and all its glory. A fan of color and capturing realism to his work; Gustave Caillebotte was all well known for his early love and interest in photography as a new viable art form. Where other artists looked down on his interest in the new technology, he didn’t shy away from it as a tool for artists. 

He came from a wealthy merchant family in the textile business. He earned his formal degree in law in 1868, and was drafted and served the French military in Franco-Prussian War of 1870. After service, the young man was restless and sought peace of mind through painting. He aimed to paint reality as it existed and as he saw it. 

He was inspired by the Greco-Roman ideal of other art movements, however he identified in capturing the physical prowess of male subjects of the “working class” man, and drawing relationships to the heroes of ancient Roman and Greek masculinity and portrayals.

At the age of 34, he retired from painting and focused on gardening and building racing yachts. He taught other artists and supported other Impressionists and found great friendship with Renoir. Personal life, there isn’t much known at this time. There are art historian rumors of out-of-wedlock children born to prostitutes and models, but this has never been confirmed. 


The work can be seen at the wonderful Musée d’Orsay in Paris. For tickets and display information, please go here: