Trouville, Scène de plage

by Eugène Boudin


DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 7.24 x 12.87 in./18.40 x 32.70 cm
SIGNATURE: Inscribed ‘trouville ll’
MEDIUM: Oil on panel

Catalogue No: 5389 Categories: ,

Trouville, Scène de plage is a beautiful example of Boudin’s most celebrated subject, the beach at Trouville. As Jean Selz notes, “What fascinated Boudin at Trouville and Deauville was not so much the sea and ships but the groups of people sitting on the sand or strolling along the beach: fine ladies in crinolines twirling their parasols, pompous gentlemen in top hats, children and little dogs playing on the sand. In the harmony of the colors of the elegant clothes he found a contrast to the delicacy of the skies” (J. Selz, Eugène Boudin, New York, 1982, p. 57).

By the second half of the nineteenth century, Trouville had become a fashionable summer retreat for the French aristocracy, and the people-watching opportunities proved to be of great artistic inspiration to Boudin during his regular summers there throughout the 1860s and 1870s. Captivated by the lively groupings of these elegant leisure classes, he rendered his subjects in quick, impressionistic brushstrokes highlighted by bright blue and red accents. Boudin’s interest in capturing the fleeting effects of sunlight on sumptuous fabrics and the effect of a windy day on the billowing dresses and tents was to have a profound influence on many Impressionist painters.

In Trouville, Scène de plage, Boudin demonstrates his exceptional understanding of colour and his sensitivity to the confluence of staccato brushstrokes to dually evoke the stillness of leisure and the motion of a blustery beach day. As Vivien Hamilton writes, “Although Boudin preferred painting groups of people to painting individuals, he succeeded in capturing the characteristic gestures, movements and costumes of the individual figures with astonishing accuracy. The artistic challenge presented by the subject was not only the representation of movement, colour and light but also the successful incorporation of the human figure into the landscape. At their best, the beach scenes vibrate with subtle nuances of light, colour, shade and movement, tiny and hasty specks of pure colour simultaneously dramatising the surface and bringing the whole into harmony” (V. Hamilton, Boudin at Trouville, London, 1992, p. 63).


M. Sonnerville, Bordeaux (acquired directly from the artist);
William Hallsborough Ltd., London;
Lock Galleries, New York (acquired by 1967);
The Armand Hammer Foundation, Los Angeles (stock no. AHC 80,018, cat no. 48, acquired by 1968);
Sale: Christie’s, 2 July 1974, lot 26 (titled La plage à Trouville, purchased by Bossard for $47,020);
Private collection, California;
Montgomery Gallery, San Francisco;
Private collection, Canada (acquired from the above in 2012)

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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.


New York, Hammer Galleries, 40th Anniversary Loan Exhibition 1928-1968, Masterworks of the XIXth and XXth Century, 1968, p. 12 (titled La plage à Trouville, dated c.1882, illustrated);
Memphis, Brooks Memorial Art Gallery, 1969, no. 28 (illustrated); Washington, D.C., Smithsonian Institution, 1970, no.29 (titled Beach at Trouville (La plage à Trouville), dated c.1882, incorrect medium, illustrated); Kansas City, William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art, 1970; New Orleans, Isaac Delgado Museum of Art, 1970; Columbus, Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts, 1970; Little Rock, Arkansas Art Center, 1971; San Francisco, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, 1971;
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Art Center, 1971; San Diego, Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego, 1971; Los Angeles, Los Angeles
County Museum of Art, 1971-72, no. 16 (titled Beach at Trouville, incorrect medium); London, Royal Academy of Arts, 1972, no. 16; Dublin, The National Gallery of Ireland, 1972; Leningrad, The Hermitage Museum, 1972; Moscow, The Pushkin Museum, 1972-73; Kiev, State Museum of Fine Art of the Ukraine Soviet Socialist Republic, 1973; Minsk, State Fine Art Museum, 1973; Riga, State Museum of Foreign Fine Arts, 1973; Odessa, Fine Arts Museum, 1973; Caracas, Fine Arts Museum, 1975; Lima, Italian Art Museum, 1975; Tokyo, Ikebukuro-Seibu Museum, 1975; Kyoto, Japan, 1975;
Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefectural Culture Center Museum, 1976; Nagoya, Aichi Prefectural Museum, 1976; Nashville,
Tennessee Fine Arts Center at Cheekwood, 1976; Mexico City, Palace of Fine Arts, 1977; Paris, Jacquemart-André
Museum, 1977; Malibu, The J. Paul Getty Museum, 1977; Atlanta, The High Museum of Art, 1977-78; Denver, The Denver Art Museum, 1978 (stock no. SE.1978.3.16, titled Beach at Trouville); New York, Albright-Knox Gallery, 1978; Edinburgh, The National Gallery of Scotland and the Royal Scottish Academy, 1978; Oslo, National Gallery of Norway, 1978-79;
Stockholm, Nationalmuseum, 1979; Houston, The Museum of Fine Arts, 1979-80; Los Angeles, Los Angeles County
Museum of Art, 1980; Washington D.C., Corcoran Gallery and School of Art, 1980; Palm Beach, Norton Gallery and
School of Art, 1981; Cincinatti, Cincinatti Art Museum, 1981; Lexington, University of Kentucky Art Museum, 1981-82; Beijing, China Art Gallery, 1982; Huntington, Huntington Galleries, 1982; Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1983; Hungary, The Fine Arts Museum of Hungary, 1983; Belgrade, National Museum of Belgrade, 1983; Prague, Nationals Gallery of Art, 1983-84; Tulsa, Philbrook Art Center, 1984; Los Angeles, Los Angeles Country Museum of Art, 1984; Jerusalem, The Israel Museum, 1984; Albuquerque, The Albuquerque Museum, 1985; Birmingham, Birmingham Museum of Art, 1985; Palm Beach, The Norton Gallery and School of Art, 1985; Palm Springs, Palm Springs Desert Museum, 1986; Leningrad, The Hermitage Museum, 1986; Moscow, State Art Gallery, 1986; Novosibirsk, Regional Picture Gallery, 1986; Odessa, Odessa Fine Art Museum, 1986; Kiev, Kiev State Museum of Ukraine Fine Art, 1986; Tbilisi, State Museum of Art of the Georgian SSR, 1986-87; Louisville, JB Speed Art Museum, 1987; Holyoke, The Heritage State Park, 1987, The Armand Hammer Collection: Five Centuries of Masterpieces, 1969-87


J. Aubry, Eugène Boudin, Paris, 1922;
Art News, New York, 1967, p. 53 (titled Beach Scene, Trouville, dated c.1882, illustrated);
F. Daulte, “Hammer en dix chefs d’oeuvre” in Connaissance des arts, 1970, pp. 82-83, no. 223 (titled La plage à Trouville, dated c.1882, illustrated);
M. S. Young, “The Hammer Collection: Paintings” in Apollo, vol. 95, 1972, p. 444, fig. 3 (titled The Beach at Trouville, incorrect medium, illustrated);
R. Schmit, Eugène Boudin, 1824-1898, vol. II, Paris, 1973, p. 392, no. 234 (illustrated);
J. Walker, ed., The Armand Hammer Collection, New York, 1980, pp. 84-85, no. 21 (titled Beach at Trouville, illustrated);
S. B. Robinson, ed., The French Impressionists in Southern California: Paintings, Sculpture and Prints in Public Collections, Los Angeles, 1984, p. 170;
The Armand Hammer Collection, Los Angeles, 1985, p. 88, no. 48 (titled Beach at Trouville, incorrect medium, illustrated)