Paris Street Scene (Primary Title)

Richard Estes, American, born 1932 (Artist)

oil on canvas
United States
Unframed: 40 × 60 in. (101.6 × 152.4 cm)
Framed: 42 3/4 × 62 3/4 in. (108.59 × 159.39 cm)

"I always like to think that the paintings look very realistic, but the subjects don’t actually exist in this way. . . . It’s a selection, taking a few elements of reality, of the visual elements—never mind the noise, the smell, the actual dimensions."—Richard Estes

In the late 1960s, Estes became known for his dazzling recreations of mundane urban subjects—empty city streets, storefront windows, and reflections on cars— and the seemingly photographic precision with which he rendered them. About the time he painted Paris Street Scene, Estes had begun to use multiple photographs as sources for the same image, incorporating data from several perspectives.

In this rare non–New York City scene, the reflections in the plate-glass window, alternating with more solid architectural details, enliven a Paris street. Estes has signed the work in the license plate of the car closest to the center.

Gift of Sydney and Frances Lewis
Richard Estes' Realism, Portland Museum of Art, Maine, May 22 - September 7, 2014; Smithsonian American Art Museum, October 31, 2014 - February 8, 2015

Sur le Miroir: L'utopie de la transparence ou la fin des illusions, de Bonnard a Buren, Musee des Beaux-Arts Rouen, October 20, 2000 - Jan 22, 2001

Get Real: Selections from the Collections of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, William King Regional Arts Center, Abingdon, VA, February 5 – May 15, 1999

Visions Urbaines: La Ville art et architecture en Europe, 1870-1993, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France, February 10 - May 9, 1994; Center for Contemporary Culture, Barcelona, Spain, June 21 – October 9, 1994

Motion as Metaphor: The Automobile in Art, Virginia Beach Center for the Arts, Virginia Beach, VA, April 13 - June 16, 1991

Selections from the Sydney and Frances Lewis Collection in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE, March 29 - May 10, 1987

The Automobile and Culture, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA, July 21, 1984 - January 6, 1985

Realism in a Post-Modern World, Maier Museum of Art, Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, Lynchburg, VA, January 21 – March 25, 1990

Richard Estes: The Urban Landscape, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, May 31 – August 6, 1978; Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH, September 10 – October 22, 1978; Nelson Atkins Gallery of Art, Atkins Museum of Fine Arts, Kansas City, MO, November 9 – December 31, 1978; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, January 25 – April 1, 1979

Washington & Lee University, October 3 – 28, 1973

Richard Estes, Allan Stone Gallery, New York, NY, May 1977

American Art since 1950, Seibu Department Store, Tokyo, Japan, June 18 – July 20, 1976

Twelve American Painters, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, September 30 – October 27, 1974

ARS 74, The Fine Arts Academy of Finland, February 15 – March 31, 1974

25 Years of American Paintings, Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA, March 5 – April 22, 1973
(Allan Stone Gallery, New York) by 1973; Purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Sydney and Frances Lewis, Richmond, Virginia in January of 1973; Gift to Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA), Richmond, Virginia in December of 1985.
© Richard Estes

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