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Gustave Caillebotte, Paris Street, Rainy Day (detail), 1877, oil on canvas, The Art Institute of Chicago, Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester Collection. Photography © The Art Institute of Chicago

Introduction to the Exhibition—Gustave Caillebotte: The Painter’s Eye

Mary Morton, curator and head of the department of French paintings, National Gallery of Art. Gustave Caillebotte (1848–1894) was among the most critically noted impressionist artists during the height of their activity in the late 1870s and early 1880s. The exhibition Gustave Caillebotte: The Painter’s Eye, on view at the National Gallery of Art from June 28 through October 4, 2015, brings together some 55 of his most successful paintings, primarily from the brief period—1875 to 1882—when he was fully engaged with the impressionist movement. In this opening-day lecture, Mary Morton explores the provocative character and complexity of Caillebotte’s contributions—which range from spectacular images of the new public spaces designed by Baron Haussmann to visual meditations on leisure-time activities in and around Paris.