The new Paris changed the way Parisians interacted. This,in turn, influenced their private life.


Interior of San Marco (Venice)
Compared to Canaletto's Interior of San. Marco, the modern Impressionist artists chose different perspectives of interiors--in themes that were not as religious and not as lofty.

Portraits in an Office, New Orleans, 1873

Degas's Portraits in an Office, New Orleans , also known as The Cotton Exchange focuses on a crowded, business-like office interior. It represents Degas's family's enterprise in New Orleans. His uncle is seated in the foreground, examining cotton. Near him is his brother-in-law, reading a newspaper, while his brother is leaning against the counter on the far left. This is "a day in the life of" Degas' relatives--male, of course...The figures do not seem to be interacting visibly with one another, rather, each person seems to be in his own world.

Caillebotte's interiors were accessible, his compositions had a linear quality. In comparison with works by Morisot or Cassatt (see women as artists 2, 3, 4) that focus on the experience of women within a domestic space, Caillebotte's interiors show him interested with masculine aspects of modern life.

In Caillebotte's Floor-Scrapers, he depicts workers in their daily routine, and in this way breaks with the strictures of the Academy.

Caillebotte's composition is similar to that used by Degas's Portraits in an Office, New Orleans. The point of view chosen by Caillebotte, with its plunging perspective, is a provocation to perception that would have been frowned upon by the Salon.

This vertiginous space created by Caillebotte evokes a perspective influenced by photography and film.
back to themes