Arts Everyday Living: Enter a French Impressionist Garden-Heavenly Corner of Summer Flowers

Gustave Caillebotte, Dahlias, Garden at Petit Gennevilliers, 1893, oil on canvas, Gift of the Scharffenberger Family, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Title: Dahlias, Garden at Petit Gennevilliers

Artist: Gustave Caillebotte

French Impressionist Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894) is still not as famous as his friend and colleague Claude Monet (1840-1926), although his reputation has been growing.  In 2015, the National Gallery of Art in Washington hosted an extensive retrospective of Caillebotte’s artistic career, Including his best known painting Paris Street; Rainy Day which was a standout at the exhibition, one of his many interpretations set in the streets and boulevards of the “The City of Light.”

However, Caillebotte also spent time in the country, purchasing a house at Petit Gennevilliers just across the Seine River from Argenteuil where Monet lived and created some of his most beloved works of art  And similar to  Monet, Caillebotte was a dedicated gardener, spending hours cultivating his own heavenly corner of the world, full of blooming flowers like the towering display of dahlias above.

Although Caillebotte couldn’t resist including a human element as well—the graceful figure of a woman standing along the pathway, marked by patterns of purplish shadows sand contrasting light. Probably Caillebotte’s companion, accompanied by her tiny dog,  alert to any passerby. While she seems preoccupied, perhaps pausing to ponder, a recently picked blossom.

Dahlias, Garden at Petit Gennevilliers is a recent addition to the National Gallery, generously donated in 2016  by the Scharffenberger family who owned it for 50 years. At more than 5 feet in height, the canvas presently shares the same room with Monet’s equally striking The Artist’s Garden at Vetheuil (See our December 6, 2022 blog).



In the public domain, courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

The National Gallery of Art does not endorse or approve use of the above image or any of the material on this website. Nor has the National Gallery of Art participated in any projects utilizing the said image.

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