The Diver by Gustave Caillebotte - 1877 - - Musée des Beaux-Arts d'Agen The Diver by Gustave Caillebotte - 1877 - - Musée des Beaux-Arts d'Agen

The Diver

oil on canvas • -
  • Gustave Caillebotte - August 19, 1848 - February 21, 1894 Gustave Caillebotte 1877

Gustave Caillebotte was a French painter — a member and patron of the artists known as Impressionists, although he painted in a much more realistic manner than many other artists in the group. Caillebotte was noted for his early interest in photography as an art, which can be seen in composition of his scenes. Caillebotte may in fact be considered part of Neo-Impressionism, the first movement after Impressionism. Caillebotte aimed to paint reality as it existed and as he saw it, hoping to reduce the inherent theatricality of painting. Perhaps because of his close relationship with so many of his peers, his style and technique vary considerably among his works, as if "borrowing" and experimenting, rather than sticking to any one style. 

Cropping and "zooming-in," techniques that commonly are found in Caillebotte's oeuvre, may also be the result of his interest in photography, but may just as likely be derived from his intense interest in perspective effects. The piece we present today seems to be a photographic snapshot. The main is not exactly in the motion of diving — he is positioning himself to dive, but is in fact holding himself still to obtain the proper pose. In a second he will jump to the water but this quick moment before was the most interesting for Caillebotte.