Puzzle of

The Floor Scrapers

by Gustave Caillebotte, 1875.

A very classical treatment (strong perspective, detail, semi-nudity) of ordinary people, this painting was rejected by the Salon for “vulgar subject matter”. Caillebotte then joined — and, with his inheritance, partially funded — the Impressionists.

I had never noticed before how rarely urban workers were painted in the Western art canon, especially in France. It’s interestingly similar to the Trés Riches Heures, which depicts nobles (and their servants) and peasants only, even at the walls of Paris.

Source: gustavcaillebotte.org.

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