Art: The Musée d’Orsay offers a painting by Gustave Caillebotte for 43 million euros

Art: The Musée d’Orsay offers a painting by Gustave Caillebotte for 43 million euros

The painting ‘The Boat Party’ by Gustave Caillebotte arrived at the Musée d’Orsay on Monday 30th January. The work, classified as a “national treasure”, is estimated at 43 million euros.

A masterpiece by an artist rarely exhibited in France. ‘The Boat Party,’ a painting by Impressionist painter Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894), was added to the collections at the Musée d’Orsay on Monday. Classified as a “national treasure”, it is valued at 43 million euros.

The passionate boater Gustave Caillebotte painted the painting in 1878. Also called “Le Boater in a Top Hat”, it depicts a smartly dressed man rowing on a river in the Ile-de-France, the Yerres, also the name of a town, in Essonne, where the artist’s family lived owned a property.

Acquired thanks to the sponsorship of the luxury group LVMH, the painting will be exhibited for the first time in several French museums as part of a national celebration of the 150th anniversary of Impressionism, scheduled for 2024. On this occasion, twenty museums will receive exceptional loans promoting the masterpieces of this movement. The French Ministry of Culture announced on Monday that a large Caillebotte exhibition will conclude the event in autumn 2024 in Orsay.


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“I am delighted that this masterpiece will enrich the heritage of the nation and can be presented in several cities in France,” said Minister of Culture Rima Abdul Malak, specifying that “this is the first time that ‘such a roaming has been organized for a national treasure”.

The work, owned by Caillebotte’s descendants, was classified as a “national treasure” in January 2020, a status accorded to an asset of great national heritage importance, whether from a historical, artistic or archaeological point of view – and justify special protection, especially when exporting.

Famous for his views of Paris, friend of Renoir and Monet, Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894) was a prosperous painter and collector. The artist, who died at the age of 45, left around 500 personal works and a collection by Renoir, Monet, Manet and Cézanne, which he donated to the French state.


The figure of the collector and donor Caillebotte has long concealed the importance of his work as a painter, which gradually fell into oblivion from the end of the 19th century and was only recognized by art history in the second half of the 20th century.

The French national collections have so far only included fourteen works by the artist. Along with Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt, he remains one of the least represented Impressionist artists in French public collections.

The Musée d’Orsay has 33 Manets, 39 Degas, 45 Pissarros, 82 Renoirs, 88 Monets, but only 11 Caillebottes.

In November 2021, Gustave Caillebotte’s Young Man at His Window was purchased by the Getty Museum in Los Angeles for $53 million, breaking the French painter’s auction record.

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