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Picturing a World

Views from above

Although I live in a country town where some friends and I will decorate the town library this week with greens cut from our own properties, there’s a part of me that still associates Christmas shopping with big cities: Atlanta, where I grew up; Boston; Paris, where I spent an enchanted holiday with an aunt and cousins. It’s the Paris connection that popped into my mind when I ran across Caillebotte’s Boulevard again today.

Right now, I’m reading Jack Flam’s Mattise and Picasso: The Story of Their Rivalry and Friendship. Point of view was very much a concern to them (multiple, in their cases), as it clearly was to Caillebotte as well. And point of view, both psychological and physical, carries over into writing. This painting was in my mind when I had Edward ride an omnibus and look down at the grille around a tree.

For another Caillebotte street scene viewed from above, click here.

Caillebotte also painted rooftops seen from windows. I’ve always loved such views, especially out back windows, probably having picked them up as “arty” in my adolescence. In any case, I gave Jeanette an enthusiasm for them because it is one of mine and because artists of her period were exploring the mundane “picturesque.” For a good example, click here.

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