Getty Museum's Newest Addition: A French Impressionist's Work Of 'Urban Realism'
“Young Man at His Window” by Gustave Caillebotte is simple — it’s just a young Parisian in a dark suit looking out his window at a girl on the street.
When Émile Zola saw it, he said Caillebotte had good technique — but the painting was “pitiful” and “anti-artistic” because it was too realistic. Which is exactly why it’s famous today: at first glance, you might think it’s a photo.
Getty Museum director Timothy Potts calls it “sharp-edged … urban realism” and says the way it contrasts with artists like Monet and Renoir will help the museum show a “fuller picture of the art associated with the impressionist movement.”
"Young Man at His Window" sold for $53 million Thursday at Christie's. It was part of a large lot from the estate of a Texas oil baron. It goes on display at the Getty sometime next year.