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For this paper, I have selected the following two paintings:
- Name of the painting: Paris Street, Rainy Day
- Artist: Gustav Caillebotte
- Year: 1877
- Type: Oil on canvas
- Size: 212.2 – 276.2 cm
The painting, “Paris Street, Rainy Day,” was painted by the French painter, Gustav Caillebotte, in the year 1877. Caillebotte was from the Impressionist period. He was very much fascinated by photography, and this fascination can be easily noticed in his paintings. Due to this aspect, he believed to be a realistic painter.
“Paris Street, Rainy Day,” is a modernistic painting where Caillebotte tries to depict the economic and social conditions prevailing in the industrialized nations (this particular painting depicts a street in Paris) during the 19th century. In all his paintings and particularly this one, Caillebotte gives great importance to the clarity of the minutest details. The contemporaries of Caillebotte depicted the leisure and fun that people had during that period.
But Caillebotte depicts the other side of modernity. In this painting, people are shown enjoying the rainy season. But unfortunately, Caillebotte probably forgot to include the rain in this painting, though the streets seem to be wet that allows the viewer to understand that the rains had just stopped.
In this painting, the artist has used a combination of blue, green, black, white, and yellow colors. The pedestrians are shown neatly dressed, holding umbrellas. The reflection of the people and even the lamp-post makes us understand that the surface is still wet.
The artist, by way of this painting, wants to suggest that during the 19th century, women were not allowed too much freedom. “Women thus had very little freedom of movement within the public sphere despite more opportunities of stepping out of their domestic boundaries” (Juan 8).
- Name of the painting: The Card Players
- Artist: Paul Cézanne
- Year: 1893-96
- Type: Oil on canvas
- Size: 47 – 56 cm
The painting, “The Card Players,” was painted by the renowned artist Paul Cézanne during the period 1893 – 1896. The painting shows two people engrossed in playing cards.
The work of art is very simple, but Cézanne has been able to establish the expressions on the faces of the two players. One of the players is smoking a pipe, but unfortunately, the artist probably forgot to show the smoke. Besides laying stress on the two men, the artist has also highlighted a bottle that is kept on the table. Cézanne used a combination of brown, yellow, white, and black colors.
Cézanne wanted to depict still a human life, and according to him the best way was to show two men playing cards – because two men can remain still only while playing cards; both of them are busy sorting their cards with an expression of concentration.
Both the paintings are oil paintings, painted on canvas. While “Paris Street, Rainy Day” is from the impressionist period, “The Card Players” is from the post-impressionist period.
Both the paintings are based on human life, and both of them have human characters. Both artists have used their art to show the effect of light and shadow in their respective paintings.
Both the paintings seem to miss something very important that is easily noticeable. Caillebotte forgot to include the rain and Cézanne forgot to include the smoke of the pipe being smoked by one of the players.
In “Paris Street, Rainy Day,” the artist has laid stress on the characters and the structures, whereas in “The Card Players” the artist has laid stress on the free use of colors. According to Debra Mancoff, “The Card Players, by Paul Cézanne, is not much a portrait of the two men as it is an exploration of volume and color” (Mancoff par. 1).
While Caillebotte depicts even the minutest details in his painting, Cézanne has a free hand in using colors and space. Cézanne doesn’t give importance to the characters. In “Paris Street, Rainy Day,” Caillebotte has even depicted the wrinkles in the clothes of the characters. The buttons on the clothes and even the near-top are visible.
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Caillebotte did not give any shades to the clothes being worn by the characters, whereas Cézanne has used light and dark colors to show the shade and tones of the colors of the clothes. Caillebotte’s painting is very clear, whereas Cézanne’s painting is blurred.
Caillebotte has used umbrellas to allow the characters to hide their identities, but Cézanne did not want to use any such camouflage.
The two paintings are different in their sizes as well. The dimensions of “Paris Street, Rainy Day” are length 276.2 and height 212.2 cm. The dimensions of “The Card Players” are length 56 cm and height 47 cm.
Caillebotte did not paint any versions of his painting, “Paris Street, Rainy Day” but Cézanne painted two more versions of “The Card Players.” “Paris Street, Rainy Day” can be found at the Chicago Art Institute, Chicago. “The Card Players” can be found at Musee du Louvre, Paris.
Juan, Liau 2012, Gustav Caillebotte’s ‘Paris Street; Rainy Day’. Web. 17 Nov. 2013. <http://mondaymuseum.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/gustave-caillebottes-paris-street-rainy-day/>.
Mancoff, Debra. n.d. The Card Players by Paul Cézanne. n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2013. <http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/arts/artwork/paintings-by-paul-cezanne4.htm>.