CAILLEBOTTE Gustave
( 1848-1894). Originally a Realist painter, Caillebotte became a disciple of the Impressionists and one of their few patrons. He took part in the second ( 1876) Impressionist exhibition and in those of 1877, 1879, 1880 and 1882. Caillebotte's touch had a delicacy which brought him some success along with a certain amount of hostile criticism. One critic of the period accused him of having, in a picture called Rainy Weather, depicted anything but rain; likewise, in Pont de l'Europe, nothing stands out but a little dog trotting along, he claimed. Through his generosity Caillebotte made many friends. He acted as buffer between the Impressionists and those around them, and he was helpful in straightening out the difficulties raised by Degas at the time of the exhibitions. When Caillebotte died, Renoir was named executor under the terms of his will. On the recommendation of the Institut de France, the Government rejected Caillebotte's donation of his collection (65 works) to the Musée du Luxembourg. As a result of protests in the Press and of the intervention of Clemenceau, the museum advisory committee finally yielded. However, they remained adamant in refusing 28 of the 61 pictures: one Manet, three Cézannes, eight Monets, two Renoirs, three Sisleys and eleven Pissarros. It is all the harder to understand this official opposition when one realizes that Caillebotte's donation included such masterpieces as Le Moulin de la Galette and The Swing by Renoir, Sisley's Regatta Near London, and Pissarro's Red Roofs. It was not until 1928 that these paintings were officially accepted by the Louvre.
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