Eugene Boudin 1824 - 1898


Boudin was a self-taught artist who grew up in Le Havre. Boudin was one of the first naturalist painters who painted in the open air, "plein air".

Boudin had a significant influence on the younger generation of landscape painters, in particular Monet. He preferred to work on location rather than at the Academy. He believed that "everything painted on the spot had strength, a power, a vividness of touch that one doesn't find in the studio." This was Monet's most important lesson.

Boudin taught Monet that the essence of painting was "entirely to be invented." Boudin taught his students to be extremely stubborn about capturing raw nature. Monet initially avoided this advice. Later however, Monet learned to paint in plein air with energy and power. Boudin not only introduced Monet to nature, but he also taught him how to paint with a quest: knowing what one wants and then being able to achieve it.

Boudin won a scholarship at the Ecole des Beux-Arts, but he was dissatisfied and returned to Honfleur. In the 1830's, Boudin began painting small pastels and watercolors in plein air.

Boudin was very precise in his paintings and compositions. For example, he included the date, time and direction of the wind.

Boudin participated in the first Impressionist Exhibition. Although he wasn't actively involved in the politics of art movements, he was publicly considered one of the group. Courbet said to Boudin, "Name of God, you are a seraphim; you are the only one who understands the sky!"

Coastal landscape paintings by Eugene Boudin

  • La Plage de Trouville, The Beach at Trouville - 1863
  • Rivage de Portrieux, Cotes-du-Nord 1874
  • Women with a Parson on the Beach at Trouville - 1890
  • Cliffs at Etretat - 1890/94
  • Twighlight over the Commercial Dock at Le Havre - 1892/94
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