With Gustave Caillebotte’s (1848-1894) painting Paris Street; Rainy Day, an Impressionist icon is coming to the Alte Nationalgalerie. Caillebotte’s painting is one of the showpieces of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the painter’s most important work. Due to its imposing size, it has rarely travelled to Europe, and hasn’t visited Europe at all since its comprehensive restoration in 2013.
This pioneering work, with its life-sized figures and unconventional perspective, was first presented at the Impressionists’ third exhibition. It is indicative of their new way of seeing, and of Caillebotte’s interest in the new urban spaces in Paris created by Georges-Eugène Hausmann.
This focused exhibition also looks into Caillebotte’s patronage. As a collector and sponsor, Caillebotte was involved in financing and organising the Impressionists’ first exhibitions. Caillebotte’s efforts to promote the presence of Impressionism in public collections display striking parallels with Hugo von Tschudi, who did just that through his acquisitions policy at the Alte Nationalgalerie.