Exhibitions: Gustave Caillebotte: Impressionist Paintings from Paris to the Sea

Gustave Caillebotte: Boats Moored on the Seine

Gustave Caillebotte (French, 1848–1894). Boats Moored on the Seine, 1892. Oil on canvas, 28 3/4 x 23 5/8 in. (73 x 60 cm). Private Collection

At the Argenteuil basin, sailboats plied the waters alongside commercial barges and steamboats, making this waterway as diverse as the newly redesigned streets of Paris, where laborers crossed paths with top-hatted bourgeois. This image of unusual calm depicts both the swift sailboats in the foreground and the hulking barges just beyond at their moorings. As in his long views of the Parisian boulevards, Caillebotte shows a deep recession looking down the river, marked by diminishing masts. The artist dissolves the elegant lines and tall masts of the yachts in the shimmering reflections of the river’s surface, which are executed in thick strokes. At left, Caillebotte includes the Roastbeef, a boat of his own design.