Umbrellas - Paris Street, Rainy Day

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Umbrellas

Curated by Max Cantu-Lima
Gustave Caillebott, Paris Street; Rainy Day, 1877
Painted in 1877, Gustave Caillebotte’s painting Paris Street, Rainy Day, depicts a new Paris, renovated by Baron Haussmann under Napoleon. The cobble road, the street lamps, and the building all fresh and clean with crisp lines, represents the feel of Paris. The city did not have the same feel as the old for the citizens. Improved sewage and avenues fixed the waste management problems as well as the complex road system the city once had. The city lacked the imperfections the buildings once owned, their uniqueness. Paris, like a new pair a shoes, alien at touch, had to be broken into, put to use, worn before it could earn the sense of home that it once provided.

This new city provided modern stores and residences. By cleaning up the waste, Paris became more attractive. Accompanied with this new modernism, were the citizens, as upper class was growing, as represented by the attire worn by the couple and the surrounding townsman. The top hats, suits, and umbrellas were demonstrations of their social standing. The dark, clean, and flat surfaces of the umbrellas connect the city and its population, both fresh and foundations for the years to come.

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