Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

Arts and Entertainment

Getty Museum's Newest Addition: A French Impressionist's Work Of 'Urban Realism'

"Young Man at His Window." It shows a man in a black suit facing a window overlooking the town in a vividly realistic painting, with an orange armchair behind him, his reflection in the glass, carriages and a smattering of people in the street below.
"Jeune homme à sa fenêtre" ("Young Man at His Window"), from 1876, arrives at the Getty next year.
(Gustave Caillebotte
via Wikipedia/Public Domain)
Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

“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.

Support for LAist comes from
What questions do you have about Southern California?