Eugène Boudin (1824-1898)
Property from a Prominent Private Collection
Eugène Boudin (1824-1898)

Villerville, Rivage, marée montante octobre

Eugène Boudin (1824-1898)
Villerville, Rivage, marée montante octobre
signed, dated and inscribed 'E. Boudin - 93. 25 Octobre 93 Villerville' (lower right)
oil on canvas
21 7/8 x 36 ¼ in. (55.6 x 92.3 cm.)
Painted on 25 October 1893
Galerie Durand-Ruel et Cie., Paris.
Dieterle collection, Paris.
E.J. van Wisselingh & Co., Amsterdam.
Gordon C. Edwards, Ottawa (by 1937).
M. Knoedler & Co., Inc. New York.
Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Murray, Honolulu (acquired from the above, by 1962).
Acquired from the above by the present owner, 2006.
R.L. Benjamin, Eugène Boudin, New York, 1937, p. 178 (illustrated, p. 159).
R. Schmit, Eugène Boudin, Paris, 1973, vol. III, p. 231, no. 3203 (illustrated).
Salon de Paris, 1894, p. 59 (illustrated; titled Le rivage de Deauville).
New York, E.V. Thaw & Co., Inc., Eugène Boudin, December 1962, no. 16 (illustrated; titled Villerville).

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Vanessa Fusco
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Lot Essay

Born the son of a sailor in the coastal town of Honfleur, Boudin was always drawn to the sea. He was particularly attracted to the dramatic coastlines of Normandy, not only for the exceptional quality of the light and brilliancy of the sea and sky, but also to observe the wealthy bourgeoisie who escaped Paris to the Channel beaches for the summer months. Hailed as a forefather of the Impressionists, Boudin’s technique was a source of inspiration for artists who succeeded him, particularly the precedent he set for capturing the subtle changes in atmosphere while outdoors. Most famously Claude Monet commented that his mentor’s work was influential enough to "decide the entire future and development of [his] painting" (quoted in P.C. Sutton, Boudin, Impressionist Marine Paintings, exh. cat., Peabody Museum of Salem, 1991, p. 16).
The present painting is a serene landscape in Villerville, on the Normandy coast. Two fisherman walk away from the sea following a day’s work, leaving behind a few other people on the beach in the distance. A low, broad horizon offers a great expanse of brilliant blue sky rising above the scene, its rich tones punctuated by freely-applied wisps of fresh white clouds. In fact, the artist devotes almost two thirds of the composition to the vast sky, the mastery of which reaffirm Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot's description of Boudin as "the king of the skies." Despite the figures’ central location in the composition, it is nature which dominates; the sweeping view overwhelms and dwarfs the humans who inhabit the scene.

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