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Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894)
Gustave Caillebotte's painting style belongs to the school of realism, although he helped organize the first Impressionist painting exhibition and was himself an enthusiastic collector of Impressionist works. He painted portraits and interior scenes, urban life, still lifes, and landscapes and seascapes. Forty of his works now hang in the Musee d'Orsay.
Rainy Day
Nude on a Couch
Canoe on the Yerres River
Europe Bridge


Nude on a Couch   
Date:   about 1880   
Medium:   oil on canvas   
Dimensions:   H.51 x W.77 in. (actual); H. 55 x W. 80 in. (framed)   

This picture belongs with a group of studies of male and female nudes painted by Caillebotte about 1880. It is unique, however, for the uncompromising realism of its anatomical observation and for its apparent sexual innuendo. The model would eventually become Caillebotte's mistress.

The artist has challenged the prevalent standards of taste and morality, which accepted in paintings only the academic tradition of idealized nudes. Because of its effrontery, this picture was neither exhibited nor sold during Caillebotte's lifetime.
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