Crinolines sur la Plage-Boulogne, 1868

by Eugène Boudin


DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 5 x 9 inches (12.7 x 22.9 cm)
SIGNATURE: Stamped with the cachet of the estate ‘E. B’ and dated (lower right)
MEDIUM: Watercolour and pencil on paper



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    Catalogue No: 6630 Categories: , ,

    Eugène Boudin was a French painter best known for his sensitive and lively depictions of beach scenes and windswept harbours. He is considered one of the earliest plein-air painters, as he completed his canvases entirely in situ rather than from studies back in the studio. In this observational composition, Boudin has chosen to focus on the crinolines that provided structure for the women’s skirts – a fashion that was first popularised in the 19th century, so was highly en vogue at the time. Boudin has emphasised these contemporary clothes by filling them with gestural strokes of watercolour, while leaving the characteristically flat Plage de Boulogne untouched.

    Stamped with the cachet of the artists

    Gimpel Fils – London c. 1920

    Ohana Gallery – London c. 1960

    Leighton Fine Art


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    Boudin’s work can be compared to that of Corot in that he was largely self-taught and that they both worked directly from nature. Boudin’s most common subject were landscape paintings of harbours and beaches of the coast of northern France.


    Eugène Louis Boudin was one of the first landscape painters to paint outdoors; following him, the Impressionists painted ‘en-plein-air.’ Boudin was a marine painter, and an expert at rendering seascapes. His pastels garnered a eulogy by Baudelaire, and Corot called Boudin the ‘King of the Skies.’


    Born at Honfleur, on the French coast, and son of a ship’s captain, Boudin never knew a life without the sea. The centre of his earl life was Le Havre, where he opened a framing shop. The shop was visited by local painters including Jean-Francois Millet, who encouraged Boudin to learn to paint himself. Boudin visited Paris and studied at the Louvre. In this way he established contact with painters of the Barbizon school – primarily Jean-Baptists Camille Corot. In about 1856, Boudin met Claude Monet and introduced him to outdoor painting, which was hugely influential to Monet. The two continued to work together into the late 1860s.

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      Sterling, Charles and Salinger, Margaretta, French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. XIX-XX Centuries, Volume 3, New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1967, p. 134.
      R. Schmit, Eugène Boudin 1824-1898, vol. III, Paris, 1973, p. 113, no. 2870 (illustrated)

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