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The Caillebotte Brothers' private world

Painter and Photographer

Painter and photographer. An encounter between Impressionism and photography, this exhibition, presented in spring 2011, evoked the artistic and private world of the Caillebotte brothers.

This original perspective of Gustave’s paintings and Martial’s photography invites the visitor to enter the private world of a large Parisian family and explore the new urban lifestyle which was taking hold at the dawn of the XXth century. The Caillebotte brothers became witnesses of a period that was undergoing a major urban and technological transformation, and a way of life often illustrated by Impressionist artists.

A unique exhibition

Gustave Caillebotte’s reputation as a painter and his role as patron among his Impressionist friends is well established. We also know that he had great affection for his brother Martial. But Martial himself, composer, pianist and photographer, remained relatively unknown.
However, a recent study of Martial’s photographic collection has revealed a great awareness of the subjects represented in his brother’s paintings: the views of Paris, the sailing boats, the gardens and the river banks. This discovery has enabled the Jacquemart-André Museum to do what no other museum has done before: compare Martial’s photographs directly with Gustave’s works.
Thanks to some exceptional loans from private and public collections, the exhibition reveals the underlying similarities between the Caillebotte brothers, by hanging 50 paintings alongside almost 130 modern photographic for the first time. These prints were taken from Martial’s original works. Some of the paintings, which belong to private collections, have never been shown in public before. 

Shared enthusiasms

Gustave and Martial Caillebotte shared a number of passions. They became expert philatelists with their stamp collection. When Gustave became interested in horticulture, Martial photographed him at work in the garden or the greenhouse. Together they learned how to sail a yacht. Martial distinguished himself in all fields, for example winning several regattas in sailing boats designed by Gustave.
The Caillebotte brothers depicted these shared interests in their painting and photography, thereby recreating the multiple aspects of their environment. With delicate touches, they evoke the gentle pace that characterised their lavish lifestyle, from Haussmann’s new Paris to family leisure pursuits.
Living in the new districts designed by Baron Haussmann, Gustave and Martial were privileged witnesses of the urban transformation which Paris underwent during this period. They were fascinated by symbols of modernity such as bridges and railways, and the hustle and bustle of the Parisian streets was one of their favourite themes. They were also very interested in outdoor activities. While gardening might have attracted their attention, the two sailing enthusiasts particularly enjoyed depicting sailing boats, boaters and bathers.
But they also cast a tender and sometimes amused eye on their friends and family, whose peaceful occupations they illustrated in a private setting. The days revolved around lunches and card parties, walks and reading: all themes that the brothers were particularly fond of.

The team

The Curatorial Team

Nicolas Sainte Fare Garnot, an art historian specialising in seventeenth-century French painting, has been curator at the Jacquemart-André Museum since 1993. Since his appointment, he has reorganised the distribution of the collections according to the original programme and has initiated various restoration and inventory campaigns. Together with Culturespaces he has helped to create a new dynamic within the Museum by bringing his scientific approach to bear on temporary exhibitions whose subjects offer an opportunity to get to know the artists contained in the permanent collections.

Serge Lemoine has taught successively at the social sciences faculty in Dijon, at the Université Paris IV-Sorbonne and at the École du Louvre, where he created the chair of 20th century art. Appointed as director of the Musée de Grenoble in 1986, he was president of the Musée d’Orsay from 2001 to 2008. He has been the curator of exhibitions as prestigious as At the origins of abstraction (1800-1914) (Musée d’Orsay, 2003), Neo-impressionism, from Seurat to Paul Klee (Musée d’Orsay, 2005), Vienna 1900 (National galleries of the Grand Palais, 2005) and Maurice Denis (Musée d’Orsay, 2006).


Hubert Le Gall, born in 1961, is a French designer, creator and sculptor of contemporary art. His work has formed the subject of numerous exhibitions throughout Europe. Since 2000 he has produced original scenographies for exhibitions.


From 25 March to 11 July 2011


Open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Late night openings every Monday until 9.30 p.m.
Last admission 30 minutes before closing.


Full rate €10
Reduced rate (students and unemployed) €8,50
Children under the age of 7 and disability card-holders Free