food in the arts





French painter (b. 1848, Paris, d. 1894, Petit Gennevilliers)

Gustave Caillebotte was a dedicated mover and shaker among the Impressionists. He haggled and negotiated to keep the group together through periods of fractious disagreement and, when he had to, he rented the exhibition space, paid for the advertising, bought frames, and hung the pictures.

Fruit, a.k.a. Display of Fruit
(Fruits, a.k.a Fruits a l’etalage.)
Oil on canvas, 75 x 1000 cm
Museumm of Fine Arts, Boston


Still life was a consistent – if minor – features of the Impressionist exhibitions, notably in the submissions of Monet. Only Cezanne, however, made the genre central to his production; for the rest, it was of secondary importance.
Caillebotte - Le Dejeuner  
Le Dejeuner
Oil on canvas
Prfivate Collection
Caillebotte’s painting of his mother, his brother Rene, and the family butler in the dining room of the rue de Miromesnil home completes the painted trilogy of family life that he exhibited in 1876. Perhaps because of its traditional genre subject and its smaller scale, Luncheon did not receive the critical attentiion of the two larger scenes in the series. Compared with the three luncheon scenes on display at the 1876 Impressionist Exhibition – Morisot’s Luncheon on the Grass (1875), Renoir’s Luncheon at the Restaurant Fouernaise, and Monet’s large decorative panel The Luncheon, acquired by Caillebotte for his own collection – this stifling haut bourgeois interior must have seemed out of step with the plein-air painting associated with the Impressionist enterprise.

Whereas Renoir depicted his friends enjoying the nourishment of food and companionship and Monet the quiet aftermath of a picnic in the garden, Caillebotte painted an almost painful ritual in progress, within a gloomy and heavily furnished dining room presided over by Mme Caillebotte.
The Gardeners   
Calf’s Head and Ox Tongue
(Tete de veau et langue de boeuf)
Private collection
In painting a calf’s head, while featuring a subject both humble and ‘ugly’, Caillebotte’s representation effectively works towards a bizarre subversion of standard Realistr fare.
Focussing on the raw beef tongue and a calf’s head hanging from hooks in the butrcher’s shop, Caillebotte’s composition furthers the disassociation of sign from substance begun with the butcher’s assault on the animals. Isolated, the dismembered parts are suspended in a kind of commercial purgatory between death and consumption – dead matter cut off from life and not yet transformed and revalidated as food. Yet the pinks, mauves and reds of Caillebotte’s palette fail to connote life’s blood, allowing the parts to float relatively free of associations with a vital past and to assume an oddly gay appearance – one thinks of Japanese lanterns and kites.
Poultry and Hares   
Still-Life and Oysters   
Anne Distel, Douglas W. Druick, Gloria Groom, Rodolphe Rapetti, Julia Sagraves, Maryanne Stevens 306,000 listed artists
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Baudelaire, Charles

Yerres - Hommage à Gustave Caillebotte

Le parc Caillebotte à Yerres (Essonne, France).
Ancienne propriété de Gustave Caillebotte, peintre français à la fin du 19e. 
Cet espace public remarquablement entretenu par la commune de Yerres, permet de retrouver le charme d'une époque, une douceur de vivre. 
Plaisir de se promener, aujourd'hui, sur les lieux qui ont inspirés l'artiste


Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) Still-Life: Corner of a Table, 1873. Oil on canvas. The Art Institute of Chicago (Asda Turnebull Herttle Fund, 1951-226.)

Caillebotte literature (Fr)

Dans l'intimité des frères Caillebotte : Peintre et Photographe (Es)

Gustave Caillebotte: Neue Perspektiven des Impressionismus (D)