There Will Be No Caillebotte Facsimile Object

Gustave Caillebotte, le Chien Paul, c. 1886, 65 x 54 cm, selling as Lot 3 on 13 Oct 2023 at Christie’s London, with an estimate of GBP 400-600,000 [update: it did not sell yesterday.]

Not this one, anyway. That I actually like Caillebotte, and can recognize the brushy Impressionist goodness of this painting of his family’s dog, Paul, and yet have no FOMO about not being in London to see it, and don’t worry too much if I ever do, maybe just tells me that I really am not a dog painting person. I am a facsimile object person, and I’ve found that facsimile objects over 50-60cm or so just don’t quite work the same way. [Also, how could this have an estimate so much greater than Manet’s Minnay?]

Maybe if Caillebotte had just painted his bougie carpet. Even if this were his second best painting of a floor, the yawning gap between Nos. 1 and 2 kind of dulls that praise. Do you think he spent the next 11 years trying to reattain the heights of The Floor Scrapers?