Skecthing Gustave Calliebotte’s Paris Street; Rainy Day Essay example

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Skecthing Gustave Calliebotte’s Paris Street; Rainy Day


I can smell the rain on my jacket as my fingers numbly make their way across the pad, trying their best to capture an instant in time on a piece of yellow, college-ruled, notebook paper, despite my now apparent lack of artistic ability. As I am watching the scene unfold, I hardly notice the people walking around me, gazing at the same thing I am, before they move on. Cuddling under an umbrella, a man and his wife are casually strolling through the light fog. Their attention is caught by something off to their right, so he does not notice when his top hat is almost bumped to one side by the umbrella as another pedestrian tries to pass on the narrow sidewalk. Further off in the
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The buildings are just far enough away and draped in a delicate fog that their details remain slightly imperceptible. But in retrospect, this entire painting lacks any distinct quality, yet possesses a magical ability to draw one into the scene and envelope them in the mystery and serenity of that Parisian evening.

I am certain that while I was sketching the work, I became an obstacle for many of the other patrons of the Art Institute, which is one of the reasons I sat down. But from this vantage point I had the opportunity to marvel at the grand scope of this composition. Gustave Calliebotte’s Paris Street; Rainy Day has the peculiar ability to exist in duality. Standing close to the canvas, I could feel myself pulled into the scene that took place over 120 years ago. I could feel the dampness in my hair and smell the rain on my clothes, although I must attribute at least part of that to the rainy Chicago weather I encountered before entering the museum. From a closer perspective, the life-size characters effectively contribute to the realism of the piece. The immense size of the painting itself helps to incorporate the viewer into the scene. Being close, it feels as though this Parisian intersection could wrap around you, and standing there I would not be terribly surprised if I turned around to see nothing but the rest of the street, continuing through the brick-laden…