Ferme Aux Environs de Quimper, c.1853/1856

by Eugène Boudin

DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 8.5 x 10.5 in./ 21.5 x 27.0 cm
SIGNATURE: Signed lower right
MEDIUM: Oil on panel

Catalogue No: 4005 Categories: , ,

Boudin discovered the region of Brittany for the first time in 1855 and returned there several times until 1897. A lover of the Normandy, Boudin was nonetheless attracted to the austerity and harshness of Brittany, in stark contrast with the “idle laziness” of the beaches at Trouville. He was especially skilled at capturing the picturesque character of the local people as with Ferme Aux Environs de Quimper.


Private Collection, United Kingdom

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Eugene Boudin was born in Trouville in 1824. He is known as a marine painter and one of the first to paint en plein air.


In 1835 Boudin’s family moved to Le Havre, where he began working as an assistant to his father. It was here that he came into contact with local artists and exhibited the paintings of Constant Troyon (1810-1865) and Jean-François Millet (1814-1875) in his stationery shop, who, along with Jean-Baptiste Isabey (1767-1855) and Thomas Couture (1815-1879) encouraged young Boudin to follow an artistic career. At the age of 22 he abandoned the world of commerce, began painting full-time, and travelled to Paris and then through Flanders. In 1850 he earned a scholarship that enabled him to stay in Paris, although he often returned to paint in Normandy and, from 1855, made regular trips to Brittany.


He was profoundly influenced by Dutch 17th Century masters and on meeting the Dutch painter Johan Jongkind (1819-1891), who had already made his mark in French artistic circles, Boudin was encouraged by him to paint outdoors (en plein air). In 1857 Boudin met the young Claude Monet who spent several months working in Boudin’s studio. They remained lifelong friends and Monet later paid tribute to Boudin’s early influence. Boudin joined Monet and his young friends in the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874, but never considered himself a radical or an innovator.


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