Gustave Caillebotte: (1848-94). French painter and collector. He came from a very wealthy family (he was rich enough to build and race yachts as a hobby) and for many years after his death he was remembered primarily for the financial help he gave the Impressionists, by purchasing their paintings and sometimes by direct gifts of money. Since the 1960's, however his own work as a painter has been reassessed and he is now regarded as an artist of considerable, although uneven, achievement. He exhibited at 5 of the 8 Impressionist exhibitions, concentrating on scenes from everyday life. The most striking feature of his work is his liking for unusual viewpoints and bold perspective effects.
On his death Caillebotte bequeathed his collections of 67 pictures to the State. Against the opposition of various academic artists representing the taste of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the official Salon, 38 of the pictures were accepted after much wrangling and formed the nucleus of the Impressionist collection of the Luxembourg Museum (now the Musee d'Orsay, Paris) (Ian Chilvers)