Getty Buys Classic Caillebotte at Auction
Getty Museum was successful bidder for Gustave Caillebotte's Young Man at His Window (1876) at Christie's New York. Sold from the collection of Texas oil man Edwin Lochridge Cox, is went for a record $53 million.
Caillebotte is admired for his cinematic views of urban life. The motif of a figure looking out a window has its roots in Caspar David Friedrich, but Caillebotte's landscape is modern Paris. The subject (the artist's younger brother René) is apparently transfixed by an elegantly dressed woman on the street below. Shown at the second Impressionist exhibition, Young Man at His Window has been widely exhibited and published. Measuring about 46 by 32 inches, it becomes the Getty's first Caillebotte and will add another star picture to the group of Impressionist paintings. Of the few Caillebotte works in U.S. museums, only the Chicago Art Institute's great Paris Street; Rainy Day (1877) rivals it.
Claude Monet had hoped that Young Man at His Window would be included in Caillebotte's bequest of Impressionist paintings to the French state, but it was owned by Albert Courtier, a friend of the artist. Later acquired by Wildenstein & Co. and then Cox, the painting became one of the last pivotal Caillebottes to remain in private hands.
The Getty's 19th-century galleries are currently undergoing renovation. Young Man at His Window is to go on view in 2022.
Also at Christies, UCLA sold a 1930 Picasso, Profil, it had owned since 1959 but rarely if ever displayed. It went for $7.3 million, in line with estimates. The money will be used for acquisitions of historic and contemporary works on paper. The UCLA Hammer Museum is to open a new space for the Grunwald Center early next year.
UPDATE (Dec. 16, 2021): The Caillebotte Young Man at His Window is now on view in "Getty Highlights" in the Exhibition Pavilion.