FAVORITES FROM THE ART INSTITUTE: MONET AND CAILLEBOTTE. When I read the news about the inclusion of the Art Institute in the Google Art Project I sent Annalisa and Nick links to two favorite paintings which were part of my life when I lived in Chicago. The first was this painting by Monet of the Arrival of the Normandy Train at the Gare Saint Lazare. When I went to the Art Institute, I would arrive in Chicago in the open shed of the Chicago Northwestern Railroad, a space which bore some resemblance the French station. Monet made me aware of the light I passed through and also aware that trains and railroad stations were beautiful. And, yes, I remember steam locomotives from when I was young. The second painting is Paris Street; Rainy Day by Gustave Caillebotte. This was the painting which stood at top of a grand staircase leading to the second floor of the Art Institute. This wikipedia article notes “the particularly flat colors and photo-realistic effect which gives the painting its distinctive and modern look, almost akin to American Realists such as Edward Hopper” (and Nighthawks is part of the Art Institute collection).

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