Boudin Eugene

B. Honfleur, 1824 - d. Deauville, 1898

La Moullière à Villerville, 1893, oil on canvasLa Moullière à Villerville, 1893, oil on canvasEugène Boudin, one of the most important masters of 19th-century French landscape painting, is considered a link between the Barbizon school and Impressionism. By the 1860s, Boudin was an accomplished plein-air painter. He had developed a technique of short, quick brush strokes, with an occasional flicker of light and color, that became the basis for his work during the remainder of his career. In its rendition of nature and its tactile qualities, his work is reminiscent of Courbet's.

Boudin's subjects, drawn from contemporary life, consisted mainly of atmospheric beach scenes and landscapes along the coast of Brittany and Normandy. He founded an art center near Honfleur at an inn that was kept by Mère Toutain. The place attracted many landscape painters, including Jongkind, Bazille, and Monet. Boudin had an important influence on the young Monet, to whom he gave painting lessons in 1858-59. On more than one occasion, Claude Monet said: "If I have become a painter, I owe it to Eugène Boudin." Although the scope of Boudin's work was rather limited, his early achievements were revolutionary. He interpreted the world through a myriad of small, rapid touches of color, thereby providing an important precedent for a group of younger artists who banded together as the Indépendants and would be later called the "Impressionists." Eugène Boudin's significance to the Impressionist movement was officially acknowledged when these young painters invited him to exhibit at their first group show in 1874.

Beach with Sailing Boats and People, oil on wood Beach with Sailing Boats and People, oil on wood