Man at His Bath

7:00 AM

Gustave Caillebotte, Man at His Bath, 1884

Caillebotte is most known for his scenes of urban life with strong perspective such as Paris Street, Rainy Day. In this piece, Caillebotte changes his style drastically. The rainy blue palette is quite similar to his other works, but this piece is far more intimate than the others. Viewing it has a distinctly voyeuristic feel to it, mostly due to the view from behind the man as if we had come through a door and interrupted him.

I love this piece because of the delicate vulnerability it has. There is an air of voyeurism, clearly, but it doesn't feel very naughty at all. On the contrary, it feels rather intimate. Caillebotte's attention to detail, from the wet footprints on the floor to the tension in the towel, amplifies the emotions of the piece instead of distracting from them. The stark white curtain highlights the man, almost cutting the piece in half; one side is him and the other side is his bath and some strewn towel on the ground. He is separate from the small space, though I can't place my finger on how.

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