“Man at the Window” – Gustave Caillebotte‏

by richibi

             Man at the Window - Gustave Caillebotte

                                  “Man at the Window”  (1875)
 
                                            Gustave Caillebotte  

                                                                  __________ 
 
 
it’s hard not to think of Caspar David Friedrich (1818) or
Norman Rockwell (1962) upon viewing now this painting,
which came up today in a lecture I was viewing on the
Impressionist Gustave Caillebotte1848-1894, halfway
between both 
 
they are, all three of course, all about contemplation,
but all explore a different aspect of that phenomenon
 
let me suggest that Friedrich‘s concerns are patently
metaphysical, he casts his eyes, which we do not see,
incidentally, upon a horizon that looks like destiny,
ours by extension, murky yet imbued with possibility,
even the improbable
  
or maybe this is just what I see
 
 
Rockwell‘s perspective is instead aesthetic, a view
of the world as expressed by others, the capacity to
understand and relate to other voices, opinions, within 
our social construct, allegorized here by the exhibition
room
 
it is a closed speculation, circumscribed by the limited
dimensions, physical or conceptual, of any other
counterpart, contained therefore metaphorically, and
concisely, within a frame  
 
that frame represents the physical limits imposed on
a painter, but also the conceptual limitations of the
viewer him- or herself, it works both ways, for some
this will be a man merely looking out a window, for
others an opening on an epoch
  
 
Caillebotte1848-1894, looks inward to his isolation,
alienation, from his luxurious interior, black as a cave,
upon a confined avenue where nothing but an impossible
communication, with the lone woman crossing the
street, surely a furtive eye, gives way necessarily to
resignation, and a kind of existential yield to ineluctable
fate, a sensibility beginning to burgeon at the time, see
Nietzsche, 1844-1900, and nihilism  
 
then again this is only my impression, this is what I got
 
and a picture is worth, we say, a thousand words
 
 
Richard  
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 
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