Gustave Caillebotte

When observing Caillebotte’s interpretations of the human form we see a male figure that has been stripped of his heroic muscularity, giving way to a figure that shows a more vulnerable approach to the form.

Where the male figure was previously seen as an all seeing object, itself aware of your presence seen through his own glory, Caillebotte gives us a glimpse into the male’s bathroom, as we observe the figure. The male seems almost unaware of our presence, creating a sense of vulnerability of himself being “exposed”. The poses also go further to strengthen this stripping of power, as we can see through the figure that his feet are almost clamped to the floor, struggling to stand, married with a sense of weight in the gestures to lift his heavy arms.

Caillebotte also goes further into breaking down the conventional Utopian idea of the male figure in his 1875 painting “The Floor Scrapers”. Although we do see these bodies exerting power, through these stooped poses it can be considered demeaning to the figures, creating this previous exertion of power to be almost as if it was a struggle. With the conventions of the time, it was almost considered vulgar to convey to paint the working-class male in such a manner, and controversy had situated around the painting due to offering an alternative upheld male figure being the hero of antiquity.

 

 

 

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