The Getty Museum in Los Angeles acquired Gustave Caillebotte’s Jeune homme à sa fenêtre (Young Man at His Window, 1876), for $53 million on Thursday evening during a sale of Impressionist art from at Christie’s. In a statement following the sale, Scott Allan, curator of paintings at the Getty Museum, called the work a “masterpiece.”
The result set a new record for the French artist, surpassing his previous auction high of $22 million set by Rising Road (1881), which sold at auction at Christie’s in London in 2019. This Caillebotte work sold alongside 22 other paintings that had also been held by the Texas oil magnate Edwin Cox, who died in 2020 and who had held on the pieces for five decades. The single-owner sale, which also included works by Vincent van Gogh and Edgar Degas, brought in a total of $332 million.
In Jeune homme à sa fenêtre, a suited man based on the artist’s brother is shown from behind, gazing out at a Parisian street. It is the first work by Caillebotte to enter the collection of the Getty, which will put it on view in 2022. Caillebotte produced the work during a seminal moment in his early career. It’s one of three interior scenes in which the artist depicted his immediate family members (the others reside at a Tokyo museum and in a private collection). All three paintings were on view at a storied 1876 exhibition of Impressionist art in Paris.
“We expect Caillebotte’s Young Man at His Window to become a new standout in our popular Impressionist gallery,” said Timothy Potts, director of the Getty Museum. “This extraordinary painting exemplifies Caillebotte’s carefully constructed and sharp-edged brand of urban realism—so distinct from the informal landscape aesthetic of artists like Monet and Renoir—and will allow us to present to our public a fuller picture of the art associated with the Impressionist movement.”