Eugene Boudin (French, 1824-1898)
Scene de marche a Trouville
Painted circa 1885
Oil on panel, not signed
14.3/4 x 18 in. (37.5 x 45.5 cm.)
In the catalogue raisonne' #1446
In a white painted slip within a silver gilt frame.
Condition: Oil on panel, panel is not warped. There is horizontal line in the grain of the wood to upper third however, observing the reverse of the panel this line is not a split. Paint surface in good condition. May benefit a light clean. Some good impasto
Without Boudin, there would be no Claude Monet, so it has been argued that Eugene Boudin is the Father of Impressionism.
Born at Honfleur, Boudin was the son of a harbour pilot, and at age 10 the young boy worked on a steamboat that ran between Le Havre and Honfleur. In 1835 the family moved to Le Havre, where Boudin's father opened a store for stationery and picture frames. Here the young Eugene worked, later opening his own small shop. Here Boudin came into contact with artists working in the area and exhibited the paintings of Constant Troyon and Jean-Francois Millet, who, along with Jean-Baptiste Isabey and Thomas Couture, encouraged the young Boudin to follow an artistic career. At the age of 22 he abandoned the world of commerce and started painting full-time. In 1850 he earned a scholarship that enabled him to move to Paris, although he often returned to paint in Normandy and, from 1855, made regular trips to Brittany.
Dutch 17th-century masters profoundly influenced him, and on meeting the Dutch painter Johan Jongkind, who had already made his mark in French artistic circles, Boudin was advised by his new friend to paint outdoors (en plein air). He also worked with Troyon and Isabey, and in 1859 met Gustave Courbet who introduced him to Charles Baudelaire, the first critic to draw Boudin’s talents to public attention when the artist made his debut at the 1859 Paris Salon.
In 1857/58 Boudin befriended the young Claude Monet, then only 18, and persuaded him to give up his teenage caricature drawings and become a landscape painter. Working en plein air he instilled in him a love of bright hues and the play of light on water which later is so evident in Monet's Impressionist paintings. The two remained lifelong friends and Monet later expressed a debt of gratitude for Boudin’s early influence. Boudin joined Monet and his young friends in the first Impressionist exhibition in 1873, but never considered himself a radical or innovator.
In 1892 Boudin was made a knight of the Légion d'honneur, somewhat late recognition of his talents and influence on the art of his contemporaries.
Late in his life he returned to the south of France as a refuge from ill-health, and recognizing soon that the relief it could give him was almost spent, he returned to his home at Deauville, to die within sight of Channel waters and skies he had painted so often.