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Eugène Louis Boudin was born in 1824 on the coast of Normandy, specifically in Honfleur, and remained faithful to his native province throughout his long life. He was attracted to art at the age of 12, when he began to work in a stationery shop. Lemasle, the shop keeper, gave him instruction, and Boudin remained there until he was 18. He then set up a shop of his own, catering to artists such as Troyon, Isabey, Couture, and Millet.
In 1846, he bought himself a replacement so as to avoid military service. From 1847 to 1848, most of his time was spent in Paris. He was again in Paris from 1851 to 1854 for formal study, financed by a grant from the municipality of Le Havre. Although much of his early work is lost, it appears it was in Paris that he made still lifes of fish and game inspired by Dutch and Flemish paintings of the 17th century, and French paintings of the 18th century. In this effort, he was encouraged by his friend Theodule Ribot. Back in Le Havre, he met Claude Monet in 1858, and began to act as his mentor. He befriended Gustave Courbet around 1859 and Jongkind in 1862. Boudin's first acceptance at the Paris Salon was in 1859 with a piece entitled Le Pardon de Sainte-Anne-Palud au fond de la baie de Douarnenez (Finistre). His work reflected the styles and techniques of the Barbizon school.

Boudin exhibited in the Salon during each year from 1863 - 1870. Based mostly along the Channel coast in Normandy, he also traveled extensively throughout France.

The son of a sailor, Boudin excelled in views of the beaches along the Channel coast of France, and had been a formative influence upon Monet. He was a plein-air painter of light, water, and the crowd. He obtained a gold medal at the Exposition Universelle of 1889 and ten years later, a year after his death, he was the subject of a posthumous retrospective exhibition held at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. The retrospective consisted of 304 paintings, 73 pastels, and 20 works in watercolor.

It can only have delighted Durand-Ruel who had bought most of Boudin's works in 1881, and had promoted them vigorously with exhibitions in 1883, 1889, and 1891 in Paris, and 1898 in New York.

Additional Exhibits on Eugène Boudin
Boudin: The Father Figure Boudin and his "Dining Room" Paintings
Boudin's Influence on Monet  

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