Eugène Boudin ( - )

Eugène Boudin

Born in Honfleur into a family of sailors. At the age of twenty, Eugène Boudin worked in a stationery shop in Le Havre which exhibited the works of visiting artists such as Isabey, Troyon and Millet, to whom he showed his first drawings. The city of Le Havre granted him a scholarship for three years, allowing him to attend courses in Paris. In 1859, Boudin met Baudelaire, a well-informed art critic, who immediately sensed his talent. His friendship with Monet and Jongkind was equally important. Eugène Boudin chose a new path resolutely turned towards the open air, and especially towards the search for the fugitive. He once noted in his notebook: "three brushstrokes from life are better than two days' work at the easel". Preoccupied with the representation of figures in natural light, Eugène Boudin invented the beach scene in 1862. The influence of this new genre on the painters of the future Impressionist group is undeniable. In 1898, at the end of a life devoid of adventures but entirely devoted to his art, Eugène Boudin, still unsatisfied and eager to raise his painting to new levels of excellence, died in Deauville, in his modest cottage turned towards what was his lifelong quest: the sea, the sky and the light.

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