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EUGÈNE BOUDIN (1824-1898) View on the port of Dieppe
signed ‘E. Boudin’ (lower right) oil on panel 39 x 46 cm “I already want to be on the battlefield! Running after the boats ... following the clouds with a paintbrush in my hand. Smelling the good salty air of the beaches and watching the sea rise ...” (Eugène Boudin, Musée Jacquemart André, Institut de France, 2013, Paris, p.133) French painter, born in Honfleur; one of the first to capture and paint landscapes outside of his atelier, in open air, directly from nature. His career really started off at the Parisian Salon of 1859, where Charles Baudelaire drew his talents to public attention. He then showed his works in the first Impressionist exhibition of 1874 next to Jean-Francois Millet, Jean-Baptiste Corot and Claude Monet with whom he worked in his atelier. Halfway between the naturalism from the early 19th century and the runny brushstroke of the late century Impressionism, Boudin is a specialist of the nautical theme. He painted many beach scenes, featuring elegant women in crinoline dresses, estuaries, harbors and sea views alongside the Atlantic coast in Normandy, deeply inspired by Joseph Vernet, who he praised in his notebook: “The admirable figures, so clear and so right with their character so well studied. Firmness of the background, of the waters…” (Eugène Boudin, Musée Jacquemart André, Institut de France, 2013, Paris, p.11) As a forerunner of the Impressionism movement, Boudin’s growing reputation enabled him to receive the third place medal at the Paris Salon of 1881 and the gold medal at the Exposition Universelle of 1889. He was also decorated by France as Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in 1892 as official recognition of his talents. Finally, the Musée Jacquemart André in Paris gave him a Solo show in 2013, where similar works to this one were presented.