EUGÈNE BOUDIN (1824-1898) Trouville, scène de plage (Painted in Trouville in 1885)
Lot 5
EUGÈNE BOUDIN
(1824-1898)
Trouville, scène de plage
Sold for £ 112,500 (US$ 147,492) inc. premium

Lot Details
PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE BRITISH COLLECTOR
EUGÈNE BOUDIN (1824-1898)
Trouville, scène de plage
signed 'E. Boudin' (lower right), inscribed and dated '85 Trouville' (lower left)
oil on panel
14 x 26.6cm (5 1/2 x 10 1/2in).
Painted in Trouville in 1885

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Alfred Lindon Collection, Paris.
    Thence by descent to the previous owner; their sale, Christie's, Paris, 23 May 2007, lot 99.
    Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.

    Exhibited
    Paris, Galerie Raphaël Gérard, Rétrospective Eugène Boudin, 9 - 13 April 1937.

    Literature
    R. Schmit, Eugène Boudin 1824-1898, Vol. II, Paris, 1973, no. 1933 (illustrated p. 240).

    Born in Honfleur and having spent his teenage years in Le Havre, Boudin chose to return to the familiar coastline of Normandy in his most recognisable paintings. The artist first visited the fashionable seaside resort of Trouville in the early 1860s and would return every year thereafter. Coming from a maritime background, Boudin perhaps surprisingly focuses the viewer's eye not solely on the sea views from Deauville and Trouville but rather the clusters of figures who gathered on the promenades and beaches.

    Attired in crisp crinolines and formal top hats, the wealthy tourists of Boudin's compositions illustrate the newly moneyed bourgeoisie who flocked to the coast from Paris following the opening of Trouville railway station in 1863. In Trouville, scène de plage we see women stiffly seated on upright chairs rather than strolling on the sand or paddling at the water's edge. This somewhat formal arrangement of smartly-dressed city dwellers appears at odds with their environs and this dissonance is echoed in Boudin's palette: the artist allows the soft grey-blue sky to merge hazily into the sea, creating a contrasting backdrop to the figures at the centre of the work who are depicted in strong blacks, blues and reds, punctuated by the yellows of their bonnets.

    As the son of a mariner the artist knew the sea and its rapidly changing moods well, and a sense of mutability is captured in the present work with his tactile leaden sky. Movement is implied by his lively brushwork which allows the sky and sea not to lie in flat horizontal strokes but rather curve around the figures and their parasols. Similarly, the beach is constructed with short, swiftly applied brushstrokes. No individual features can be discerned but rather a fleeting impression is captured.

    Painted in 1885, Trouville, scène de plage shows the growing influence of Impressionism on Boudin's work in the freer, fresher brushwork when compared to his early more detailed scenes. A strong advocate of working in situ, Boudin believed 'everything that is painted directly on the spot has always a strength, a power, a vividness of touch that one doesn't find again in the studio' (Eugène Boudin quoted in J. Rewald, The History of Impressionism, London, 1973, p. 38).

    Regarded as a forerunner to the Impressionist movement, it was Boudin who first introduced Monet to painting en plein air and is also said to have encouraged Monet's initial move from caricature to landscape painting. The two men first met at the framing shop in Le Havre where Boudin worked in the late 1850s, and remained lifelong friends. Monet happily acknowledged the older artist's formative influence on him and ascribed to him his artistic education.

    The small scale of the panel Boudin uses for the present work enabled his quick summary of the scene, which translates into fluid rapid brushwork. His early paintings of Trouville were on larger scale canvases, worked up from smaller studies on panels which were easier to control in the sea breeze. By the 1880s when the present work was painted, Boudin was using this support for all of his beach scenes.
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