Eugène Boudin (1824-1898)
THE PERSONAL COLLECTION OF BARBARA LAMBRECHT, SOLD TO BENEFIT THE RUBENS PRIZE COLLECTION IN THE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART IN SIEGENChristie’s is honoured to offer the following selection of works from the personal collection of the esteemed philanthropist and patron of the arts, Barbara Lambrecht. Assembled over the course of nearly four decades, Ms Lambrecht’s collection features works by a diverse range of artists, from early compositions by the great painters of Impressionism, to the refined techniques of the Pointillists, and the free, expressionist colours of the Fauves. In this way, the collection offers an intriguing insight into one of the most dynamic and exciting periods of the European artistic avant-garde. Ms Lambrecht’s collecting journey began in the 1970s, when an early interest in Impressionism encouraged her to purchase paintings by Eugène Boudin, Raoul Dufy and Berthe Morisot. From here, her treasured collection has grown and evolved to encompass works by some of the most influential artists of the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries, including Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Paul Klee. This highly personal collection, shaped by Ms Lambrecht’s discerning vision and keen knowledge of art history, has filled the walls of the collector’s home for the past forty years. Considered together, the works reveal a series of intriguing connections to one another, their similarities and differences causing a dynamic dialogue to develop between each of the individual works in the collection. This is evident, for example, when Dufy’s portrayal of the northern coast of France is considered alongside Boudin’s painting of the same subject, or the contrasting painterly techniques of Monet’s loose, spontaneous compositions are observed beside Kees van Dongen’s highly saturated, impastoed areas of colour. One of the most striking features of the collection is the way in which the collection focuses on the pivotal periods in each artist’s career, often highlighting on a moment of transition as they begin to explore new, ground breaking techniques, subject matter or styles. Ms Lambrecht’s dedication to collecting has been paralleled by a prodigious journey in cultural philanthropy and patronage, as her passion for the arts has driven her to support a number of institutions in her native Siegen. Through her generous support, these bodies have become leaders in their respective fields, from the Philharmonic Orchestra Südwestfalen, to the city’s Apollo Theatre. Amongst her most remarkable and enduring charitable projects is her commitment to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Siegen, and her promotion of the Peter Paul Rubens Prize. Founded in 1955, the same year as the documenta in Kassel, this highly acclaimed international award is presented every five years to a contemporary artist living in Europe, to honour his or her lifetime achievements in art. Presented in remembrance of Peter Paul Rubens, who was born in Siegen, previous recipients include Giorgio Morandi, Francis Bacon, Antoni Tápies, Cy Twombly, Sigmar Polke, Lucian Freud, Maria Lassnig and Bridget Riley. To support the award, Ms Lambrecht founded the Rubens Prize Collection, acquiring comprehensive and exemplary groups of important paintings, sculptures and graphic pieces by each of the award’s former laureates, and then placing them on permanent loan to the Museum. Conceptually, the collection has been carefully curated so as to include works from each artist’s various creative phases, and continues to grow as it gathers examples from each new recipient of the prize. Creating an impressive survey of twentieth- and early twenty-first-century European art, from the quiet still-lifes of Morandi, and Riley’s iconic explorations of line and colour, to Bacon's emotionally charged figurative paintings and Maria Lassnig’s self-exploration of the human body, the Rubens Prize Collection offers visitors to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Siegen an in-depth look into the work of the acclaimed artists honoured by the city. With the sale of this outstanding group of impressionist and early modernist works, Ms Lambrecht plans to ensure the continued growth and evolution of the Rubens Prize Collection, and to secure its future for the enjoyment of subsequent generations in Siegen and throughout Europe.
Eugène Boudin (1824-1898)

Scène de plage, Trouville

Eugène Boudin (1824-1898)
Scène de plage, Trouville
signed ‘E. Boudin’ (lower left)
oil on panel
5 1/2 x 14 in. (14.1 x 35.6 cm.)
Painted circa 1870-1874
Antoine Vollon, Paris.
Watelin collection, Paris.
Diéterle collection, Paris.
Arthur Tooth & Sons, London (no. 5934).
Lady Baillie, Leeds Castle, Kent; estate sale, Sotheby's, London, 4 December 1974, lot 5.
Schröder und Leisewitz, Bremen.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in the 1970s.
R. Schmit, Eugène Boudin 1824-1898, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, vol. I, Paris, 1973, no. 612 (illustrated p. 223).
Bremen, Kunsthalle, Eugène Boudin, September - November 1979, no. 23.

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Lot Essay

‘People are starting to ask me for lots of seascapes. I shall do other things but I shall always be the painter of beaches.’
(Boudin, quoted in V. Hamilton, exh. cat., Boudin at Trouville, Glasgow & London, 1992-1993, p. 63)

Painted between 1870 and 1874, Eugène Boudin’s Scène de plage, Trouville is one of the artist’s quintessential and career-defining beach scenes. One of the first artists to paint en plein air, Boudin, whom Monet hailed as his ‘Master’, was one of the most important precursors of Impressionism. Shunning his studio, he devoted himself to the depiction of the natural world, or in his words, to the ‘the simple beauties of nature’, capturing the changing atmospheric conditions and light effects of the Normandy coastline of France. Like actors on a stage, the figures of Scène de plage, Trouville are arranged across the wide, panoramic expanse of the beach at Trouville, a fashionable coastal resort in the north of France. Using small, rapid brushstrokes and flashes of bold, pure colour, Boudin has not only conjured the subtle nuances of light and the misty weather effects, but he has also captured the spectacle of the finely dressed beach-goers, picturing men in top hats and women in fashionable crinolines and opulent hats holding parasols as they enjoy a day on the beach.

The sea and coastline of northern France, its harbours, ports and wide vistas captivated Boudin throughout his life and provided endless inspiration for his art. Born to a sea captain in Honfleur, before later moving to Le Havre, Boudin knew this coastal area intimately. It has been suggested that it was the marine painter Eugène Isabey who, in 1863, first encouraged Boudin to take the novel trend of Parisian holidaymakers in the fashionable port town of Trouville as the subject of his work. Most likely spurred on by his friend, the poet, Charles Baudelaire, and his fervent belief in the need for artists to take modern life as their subject, Boudin broke with convention by depicting, with detached observation, contemporary life in his pictures. In 1868 he wrote, ‘[I have been congratulated] for daring to include the things and people of our own time in my pictures… don’t these bourgeois, who stroll on the jetty towards the sunset, have the right to be fixed on canvas, to be brought into the light’ (Boudin, quoted in V. Hamilton, exh. cat., Boudin at Trouville, Glasgow & London, 1992-1993, p. 20). Combining his love and innate knowledge of the coast with a sharp and perceptive gaze of those that populated it, Boudin conceived a new type of landscape painting, one that was inherently rooted in contemporary life, freed from the classicising grandeur that had characterised this genre up until this point. It was this innovative approach both to the style and subject of the landscape that proved so influential and inspiring to the young Monet, as well as to the subsequent generation of impressionist painters. ‘Do as I did – learn to draw well and admire the sea, the light, the blue sky,’ Monet later remembered Boudin telling him, adding, ‘I owe everything to Boudin and am grateful to him for my success’ (Monet, quoted in ibid., p. 44).

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