Lessons in History Series

"After Caillebotte / Rainy Day in Paris"
27.5" x 35" (frame dimensions)17"x 23" (printed image) on 22x30 Lenox 100
Gustave Caillebotte. Paris Street, Rainy Day (La Place de l’Europe, temps de pluie),1877, oil on canvas, resides at the Art Institute of Chicago. Produced early in his studio career, Caillebotte blends the colorless melancholia of a rainy dreary day with the overarching comfort and security of bourgeois prosperity. Providing a conceptual antithesis, the ‘have nots’, could have come from numerous visual sources worldwide. However, Nick Ut’s 1972 Pulitzer Prize photo of Vietnamese children fleeing their napalmed village home captures both the circumstance of being destitute and in need, as well as the historical connection of Viet Nam (Indochine) and France, whose exploitive tactics and forced-labor practices foisted upon the Vietnamese people involved in the rubber trade, ultimately led to the harvest of ‘rotten fruit’ reaped by the United States.