Caillebotte's model in this painting was his younger brother Martial, a composer. The setting is a room with a piano in their residence on rue de Miromesnil, in what is now the 8th arrondissement of Paris. The wall ornaments, curtains, carpets, chairs, and other furnishings are decorated with botanical motifs in this depiction of the refined interior of a wealthy citizen of Paris. The light entering from the window is reflected from the keyboard and a piano leg. The keyboard and Martial's fingers are also reflected in the fall board, while the red and gold wall treatment is reflected in the lid of the piano. Caillebotte's style of realistically depicting his subject within his representation of space to give a sense of depth is quite unusual among the Impressionists. His was, as we learn from this painting, one variation in the Impressionist pursuit of depictions of light and shadow. Caillebotte showed this painting in the second Impressionist exhibition in 1876.
figureinteriorpianoportraitwindowoil on canvasimpressionism