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A Caillebotte discovered in an attic!

When Léopold Brochet decided at the beginning of April 2022 to tidy up the attic of his house in Draveil, he had no idea that he was going to discover, wrapped in a coarse canvas, a very curious painting representing a woman with a parasol walking on the quays of Seine. And what was his amazement when he noticed that the canvas, of modest size (60 x 45 cm) bore the signature of one of the most famous painters and patrons of the Impressionists, Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894).

Edgar Degas. Eugène Manet. 1874. Collection particulière
Gustave Caillebotte. Woman with a parasol on the banks of the Seine. 1877. Private collection

Appraised by the famous company "Let's Playfool & Sons", this canvas, painted in 1877, could see its price exceed 5 million euros. Gustave Caillebotte would have presented it at the third Impressionist exhibition, at the same time as the "Pont de l'Europe" and "Rue de Paris, temps derain". However, there is no trace of the "Woman with a Parasol" in the catalog.

Claude Monet makes explicit reference to this painting in a letter written in Vétheuil in 1879 and addressed to Doctor Georges de Bellio: "Last Friday, I met Gustave Caillebotte in Paris... He told me about a site that he had painted, not far from Île Saint-Louis with a young woman carrying a parasol..." .

As for the model who posed for the canvas, it would be Adélaïde Rouget de la Lotte, great-granddaughter of the famous Mathilde Rouget de la Lotte (1702-1798), painter of the 18th century, famous for her self-portrait in flying fish...

Mathilde Rouget de la Lotte. Autoportrait au poisson bondissant. 1729. Aquarium municipal de Laplage-Lesflots
Mathilde Rouget de la Lotte. Self-Portrait with Leaping Fish. 1729. Municipal Aquarium of Beach-on-the-shore

In his art history lectures, Fabrice Roy combines the past with the present, in a poetic and playful evocation of the French 19th century...


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