2017 Orsay: Gustave Caillebotte 1875 Raboteurs de parquet

Gustave Caillebotte: Parquet Planers, 1875

Gustave Caillebotte: Parquet Planers, 1875. A recur­ring nar­rat­ive in the Musée d’Orsay is the offence that aca­dem­ic paint­ers took at the new ideas com­ing up after 1850. The well-known new cham­pi­on is a styl­ist­ic mat­ter, impres­sion­ism. More inter­est­ing to me is a them­at­ic con­flict. This paint­ing was lam­basted for its depic­tion of what could­n’t even pass as a genre piece: Mere crafts­men per­form­ing a very mundane task. And it’s big! and real­ist­ic! and cre­ated with plenty of patience over a long peri­od of time! What a scandal.