Caillebotte in Yerres

caillebotte rowerOn an idyllic spring day recently I went to see the Caillebotte show in Yerres. Caillebotte was one of the great Impressionist painters and his family estate was in Yerres, a small town about 20 minutes by RER from Paris. Caillebotte’s father, a wealthy entrepreneur, had bought the park and property Yerroise. It was here that Caillebote developed his painting style, creating over 80 canvases from 1873 to 1878.

In a new exhibition, 43 works mostly painted in Yerres, some very rarely seen, are well curated in an intimate but comfortable space on the estate. Being up close to some of Caillebote’s most iconic paintings including “Rower in a Top Hat” and “Yerres Rowers,” you can see his masterful and inventive brush strokes.

After leaving the show we walked on the estate, taking in all the spring flowers and greenery. Across the street was a densely wooded park with rowers gliding through the deep green river. It was though I was experiencing one of Caillebotte’s paintings live and you could feel his inspiration first hand, as I walked through time a hundred years ago.


One Response to “Caillebotte in Yerres”

  1. Comment by Andy | 06/09/14 at 4:11 pm

    When Madame Biennais died in 1869, her chateau in Yerres was purchased by Martial Caillebotte (father of Gustave) in a private family auction. Martial’s 2nd cousin Jules Valpinçon was married to one of the daughters of Madame Biennais. Madame Biennais’ husband, Martin Guillaume Biennais (1798-1843) was the jeweler who crafted the Crown Jewels for 1803 coronation of Napoleon Bonaparte. The property in Yerres is the same property where Gustave Caillebotte painted his first known paintings. So the sale of the 27 acre estate was literally a sale between cousins. – Andy Carr, cousin of Gustave Caillebotte & Jules Valpinçon.

    Visit our family blog at to read more documented stories on Caillebotte, Degas, and how they were met. Stories include information from the only living descendants of Martial Caillebotte, via his son Martial, brother of Guatave.

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