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Eugne Boudin (1824-1898)
Eugne Boudin (1824-1898)

Laveuses au bord de la Touques

Eugne Boudin (1824-1898)
Laveuses au bord de la Touques
signed and dated 'E Boudin 95.' (lower right)
oil on panel
10 x 16 in. (26.6 x 40.6 cm.)
Painted in 1895
L. Pedron, Paris; sale, Htel Drouot, Paris, 2 June 1926 (FF 7,000).
M. et Mme Lantz, Paris (acquired at the above sale).
La Vitrine, May 1960 (illustrated).
R. Schmit, Eugne Boudin, 1824-1898, vol. III, Paris, 1973, no. 3513 (illustrated, p. 342).
Paris, Galerie Schmit, Exposition Eugne Boudin, May 1965, no. 115.
Paris, Galerie Schmit, Eugne Boudin, 1824-1898, May-July 1984, no. 38 (illustrated).

Lot Essay

In October 1892 Boudin received the Legion of Honour, which was bestowed on him by Puvis de Chavannes at the request of Lon Bourgeois, the Minister of Public Education. Only a year earlier, the artist had taken steps to have the ribbon given to his friend Johan Barthold Jongkind: "It seemed to me," the painter wrote to Alfred Stevens, "that that Master should take precedence over me" as he felt "sufficiently rewarded by the approval of the public" (J. Selz, E. Boudin, New York, 1982, p. 84).

In 1895, Boudin spent most of the year in Normandy, leaving France only during the Summer months to return, for the last time, to the city of Venice. There, the artist executed an enormous amount of work, although he wrote to his brother Louis, "I wish I was twenty years younger to be able to make my stay worthwhile for myself and for art, but I feel exhausted by the hard task of painting." Boudin certainly worked hard that year; in addition to producing 75 views of Venice, he painted 70 pictures in Normandy.

Although Boudin is mainly famous for his Trouville beach scenes, he painted a great many other subjects. The fact that some of them were frequently repeated shows that, in his eyes, they were scarcely less interesting than the views of the seaside. Amongst these compositions, Laveuses au Bord de la Touques was one of his most favourite and celebrated themes, which he painted for over twenty years, until the end of his life. In 1895, Boudin painted seven compositions based on this subject, including the present painting.

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