Eugène-Louis Boudin

(1824 - 1898)

Deauville, Le Bassin

Signed and dated, lower left: 94 E. Boudin
Oil on panel
11 x 8¾ in – 27.9 x 22.2 cm 

Tel.: +44 (0)20 7839 7693

Provenance

Galerie Georges Petit, Paris;
Gaston Guignard by 1911;
Private collection, UK;
Louis Stern Galleries, Beverly Hills;
Estate of Emily L. Peck, 1984 
Boudin knew Deauville well having been born a little further north in Honfleur. His father was a harbour pilot while the young Boudin crewed on a steamboat that sailed between Le Havre and Honfleur. He therefore had an intimate knowledge of the Normandy coast. Few artists capture so effectively the ethereal relationship between sea and sky, elements that are in constant flux, a state that is masterfully rendered by Boudin's deft, repetitious brushstrokes. As Corot put it Boudin was...'king of the skies'.

Biography

Eugène Boudin was the son of a seaman. At the age of 12, he worked as a clerk to a publisher and soon after to a stationer. In 1844 he set up, with a partner, his own stationers’ but after a dispute with his partner turned to painting in 1846.

Boudin associated with a number of artists including Théodule Augustin Ribot (1823-1891), Thomas Couture (1815-1879), Constant Troyon (1810-1865) and Louis-Gabriel-Eugène Isabey (1803-1886), and was encouraged to move to Paris to study. Success eluded him; however in 1859 Boudin was awarded a grant by the City of Le Havre to study in Paris for three years. Boudin travelled extensively and would do so all his life, in his early years painting in Normandy and Brittany.

In 1858 Boudin met and encouraged Claude Monet (1840-1926), although Boudin had yet to find a consistent market for his works, 1861 saw him reduced to painting skies for Thomas Couture (1815-1879) and Constant Troyon (1810-1865). Boudin married in 1863, settling in Paris but continuing to travel to Normandy and Brittany and in the 1870’s to Belgium and the Netherlands. In 1874 at the landmark exhibition of the Impressionists, Boudin showed three works, he did not however exhibit at their later shows. Financial success came in 1881 with the art dealer Paul Durand Ruel, who bought his work.

In 1884 Boudin was able to build a house in Deauville, source of so much of his subject matter. He visited and painted on the Mediterranean coast in 1894 and, 1895 painted in Venice. Boudin, although best known for his harbour and beach scenes, was a prolific painter of landscapes, cattle and village life in addition. He was highly regarded by his peers, Camille-Jean-Baptiste Corot (1796-1875), Johan Jongkind (1819-1891), Claude Monet (1840-1926), Troyon, Couture and Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), and in the influence he exerted on Monet, had a significant bearing on the birth of Impressionism.

His works can be found in museums in: London, National Gallery; Bayonne; Bordeaux; Caen; Cambrai; Dieppe; The Hague; Honfleur; Nantes; Paris; Rotterdam; Rouen; Stockholm; Cleveland; New York and Washington, National Gallery.

Eugène-Louis Boudin