Eugène Louis Boudin

Eugène Boudin was one of the most important precursors to the Impressionists. His critical acclaim continues to increase and he has an unrivalled reputation as a master of beach and coastal scenes. Born in Honfleur and employed as a cabin boy on his father’s vessel, he became at home with the shifting moods of the sea, which was to become the main subject matter of his paintings. Although Boudin had no academic training, he spent much time drawing. In 1847, Boudin went to Paris and devoted himself to the arts. He made his debut at the Salon in 1859, where his work was greatly admired by Charles Baudelaire and Gustave Courbet.

Boudin was to become Monet's first teacher, persuading him to paint outdoors, and in 1874, he was invited to participate in the first Impressionist exhibition. He spent the rest of his career painting primarily around the coast of Le Havre, Honfleur and Trouville, inspired by the elegant society that populated the sparkling coasts. Whilst painting at Trouville, he met the Dutch artist, Johan Barthold Jongkind, and, influenced by his boldness of technique, Boudin adopted a freer brushwork and brighter palette. His work was marked by a talent to capture the restless motion of water and clouds, the transient glittering of light playing on waves, the characteristic movements of the human figure and of ships and the infinite nuances of colour in the landscape. The depiction of cool, silvery lighting and warm tonality is often activated with brilliant touches of color in costumes, flags or bunting, while a richer intensity of hue is seen in his warmer, southern seascapes. 


Vancouver, Canada, Vancouver Art Gallery, 'French Impressionists', 24 Mar.-19 Apr. 1953;
San Francisco, U.S., San Francisco Museum of Art, 'Modern Masters in West Coast Collections', 18 Oct.-27 Nov. 1960;
Eugène Boudin 1824-1898, Galerie Schmit, Parijs, 1965;
Tulsa, U.S., Philbrook Art Center, 'French and American Impressionism', 2 Oct.-26 Nov. 1967;
Phoenix, U.S., 'XIX-An Exhibition Honoring the XIX Olympiad', Sep.-Oct. 1968;
Santa Barbara, U.S., The Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 'Boudin: Precursor of Impressionism', 8 Oct.-21 Nov. 1976;
San Diego, U.S., Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego, 'Boudin', 7 May-12 June 1977;
Eugène Boudin 1824-1898, Galerie Schmit, Parijs, 1980;
Eugène Boudin 1824-1898, Galerie Schmit, Parijs, 1984;
Eugène Boudin; Centenaire, Galerie Schmit, Parijs, 1998;

Born in Honfleur, France on July 12th, 1824

Died in Deauville, France on August 8th, 1898

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