Caillebotte existed on the fringes of the Impressionist group, as he was both a benefactor and a member of the group. He was a painter himself, but lived as a lawyer, solider, and engineer. He did not adhere closely to the painting by light and loose brush strokes of the Impressionists and his work belies his realistic-style training, however, he allowed enough of the looser, less studied style of the Impressionists to enter his work, that it was given a lightness, that more realistic work lacks.
Even in death he supported the Impressionists, leaving his vast collection to the French Government on the condition that it be displayed, not stored away. The artists and their work had not yet been embraced by the French people, and the government and they rejected that condition, but ended up accepting a portion of the work which they did display, making it the first time the artists of the group were displayed in a government exhibition.