The image is strong, the framing radical. In this boat party, dated 1877-1878, the painter Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894) embarks the spectator in the ship of a boater in town costume and top hat, rowing on the Yerres, south-east of Paris. The treatment of the water games is impressionistic, but the meticulousness of the details closer to realism.
About this painting, Didier Rykner, the founder of the art gallery, wrote in 2014: “What is certain is [qu’elle] should not under any circumstances leave France [si elle] is one day sold. » His wish has just been granted. This work, worth 43 million euros, joined the walls of the Musée d’Orsay thanks to the sponsorship of the LVMH group, according to information from the Sunday newspaperconfirmed at World by the Ministry of Culture.
For Orsay, whose acquisition budget is capped at 3 million euros, it’s a godsend. Because today, only American museums, Qatar and the Louvre Abu Dhabi can afford such trophies. “ The boat party has an absolutely unprecedented photographic and cinematographic force for the time, which sets Caillebotte apart from all the other geniuses of Impressionism”greets Christophe Leribault, director of the Musée d’Orsay.
Gustave Caillebotte is not a painter like any other. A millionaire at 30, the heir helps his contemporaries and collects their works, which he bequeaths to France upon his death. More considered a comrade of Monet and Pissarro than their equal, his work will long be considered secondary. Also Caillebotte is under-represented in French public collections. The Musée d’Orsay holds only eleven paintings, including the famous Parquet planers (1875), offered to the State by his brother Martial, in return for eighty-two works by Renoir and eighty-eight by Monet.
A lack that the Parisian establishment has been able to make up for in recent years, in tune with the rehabilitation of an artist who is now setting the market on fire.
In 2018, the museum inherited three paintings and two pastels bequeathed by Marie-Jeanne Daurelle, the great-granddaughter of its butler. The donation mechanism allows the entry, in 2019, of the Landscape at Argenteuil and, in the fall of 2022, Suns, garden of Petit Gennevilliers. For Christophe Leribault, the purchase of boat party, “ will transform the understanding of the artist and even the face of the Impressionist collection at the Musée d’Orsay”.
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Source: Le Monde