March 24, 2023

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

A masterpiece by an artist rarely exhibited in France. “The boat party”, a painting by the impressionist painter Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894), joined the collections of the Musée d’Orsay on Monday. Classified as a “national treasure”, it is estimated at 43 million euros.

Passionate about boating, Gustave Caillebotte had painted the painting in 1878. Also called “Le Boater in a Top Hat”, it represents an elegantly dressed man rowing on a river in Ile-de-France, the Yerres, also the name of a town in Essonne where the artist’s family owned a property.

For the first time, the painting acquired thanks to the sponsorship of the luxury group LVMH will be exhibited in several French museums, as part of a national celebration around the 150th anniversary of Impressionism scheduled for 2024. On this occasion, exceptional loans twenty museums will promote the masterpieces of this movement. A large Caillebotte exhibition will close the event in Orsay in the fall of 2024, the French Ministry of Health announced on Monday. Culture.


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

The work, owned by the descendants of Caillebotte, had been classified as a “national treasure” in January 2020, a status granted to cultural property of major importance for the national heritage – whether from the point of view of history, art or archeology – and justifying special protection, particularly with regard to export.

Famous for his views of Paris, friend of Renoir and Monet, Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894) was a wealthy painter and collector. Died at 45, the artist left some 500 personal works and a collection of Renoir, Monet, Manet or Cézanne, which he donated to the French state.


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

The French national collections to date only counted fourteen works by the artist. Along with Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt, he remains one of the least well-represented Impressionist artists in French public collections.

Thus, 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 for $53 million by the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, breaking the French painter’s auction record.

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