Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894) was a French Impressionist painter and an early collector of Impressionist paintings. Though he was trained as an engineer, he also attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he studied under Bonnat.
At the Ecole he met Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, and Pierre Auguste Renoir, leading him to become involved with the Impressionist movement. He participated in three of the Impressionist exhibits. Caillebotte submitted his first painting (Floor Scrapers) to the Salon in 1875, but it was promptly rejected.
On his father's death in 1874, Caillebotte inherited a sizeable fortune, which he used to become one of the Impressionists' primary patrons, acquiring an extensive collection.
In his later years he painted less, spending his time sailing and working in his garden. Caillebotte died in 1894. In his will he left his entire collection to the French government, stipulating that it hang in the Musee du Luxembourg first. Today forty works from his collection are housed in the Musee d'Orsay.
Caillebotte never achieved the fame of the better-known Impressionists. Despite his association with them, his work was more conventional in depiction and more subdued in color. Caillebotte's most famous works are large scale scenes of Paris, depicting wide boulevards and people in their street finery.