Snowy Rooftops, Caillebotte

Snowy Rooftops, Caillebotte
Snowy Rooftops, Caillebotte

Known as Rooftops under the Snow or even as View of the Snowy Rooftops, the work we are analyzing here is one of the best-known and most outstanding paintings by the artist Gustave Caillebotte. Although it is true that the painter participated in some of the exhibitions of the Impressionist group, Caillebotte is not fully considered one of the group's members or not at least one of its most representative figures. However, his painting presents some of the most common characteristics of this pictorial movement that the artistcombines with large doses of realismand above all with an urban landscape that serves to set the scene for many of his the paintings of him.


Gustave Caillebotte (1848 – 1894) was a Parisian painter who also devoted himself to patronage and holding exhibitions. Member of a we althy family, his family inheritance allowed him to dedicate himself entirely to painting despite not selling too many canvases and that at the end of his life most of his collection was kept by his family

In the mid-1970s the artist presented one of his best-known works, The Parquet Slashers, to the official salons. The canvas was rejected and a year later it was presented at the exhibition organized by the Impressionists together with eight more works by the artist.

The work that concerns us here waspainted by the painter at the end of that same decade, around the year 1878 on the occasion of the fourth Impressionist exhibition, in which Caillebotte participated with no less than twenty-five canvases. However, the painting was not sold during the exhibition and once the artist had died his brother donated it to the Luxembourg Museum from where it went to the Louvre collection and then to the National Gallery of the Ball Game until it was finally collected in the Musée d'Orsay where you can visit today.

In this work, the artist presents us with a small-format oil on canvas that barely exceeds eighty-two centimeters wide and sixty-four centimeters high, in which the snowy roofs of the French capital are represented. By itself Paris has always been a remarkable source of inspiration for artists, be they painters, sculptors or even musicians but on numerous occasions artists have not even needed to capture the monuments in their paintings most distinguished of the city but only with its roofs can reflect the spirit of a cosmopolitan and innovative city.

In this way the artist represents the roofs of the surrounding buildings from the top of a central building, you can also see the occasional chimney dotting the urban scene and in the distance the tops of some trees. The white of the snow floods everything and the blurred and slightly outlined forms mark the general tone of the canvas in a very impressionist painting based on loose brushstrokes.

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