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Eugène Boudin (1824-1898)
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial int… Read more The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller
Eugène Boudin (1824-1898)

Deauville, Juliette sous la tente

Eugène Boudin (1824-1898)
Deauville, Juliette sous la tente
signed, dedicated and dated 'E. Boudin - A. Juliette 7bre 95' (lower left) and inscribed 'Deauville' (lower right)
oil on panel
9 1/8 x 13 ¾ in. (23 x 35 cm.)
Painted in September 1895
Juliette Cabaud, Paris (gift from the artist).
M. Müller, Paris.
Alfred Daber, Paris.
Paul Rosenberg & Co., New York.
Acquired from the above by the late owners, February 1962.
R. Schmit, Eugène Boudin, Paris, 1973, vol. III, p. 326, no. 3470 (illustrated).
M. Potter et al., The David and Peggy Rockefeller Collection: European Works of Art, New York, 1984, vol. I, p. 136, no. 38 (illustrated in color; titled Woman Under Beach Umbrella, Deauville).
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Lot Essay

Painted in September 1895, Deauville, Juliette sous la tente presents an intimate, tender scene of Boudin’s companion and lover Juliette Cabaud, seated on the beach at Deauville, a fashionable seaside resort on the north coast of France. Indeed, this painting was presented to Cabaud by the artist as a gift and is inscribed in the lower left corner with her name and the date on which Boudin completed this warmly toned, picturesque scene. One of the first artists to paint en plein air, Boudin, whom Claude 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.
Depicting a tranquil day on the beach, Deauville, Juliette sous la tente is one of the artist’s quintessential and career-defining beach scenes. The sea and coastline of northern France—its harbors, 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” (quoted in V. Hamilton, Boudin at Trouville, exh. cat., Glasgow Museums, 1992, p. 20). Combining his love and innate knowledge of the coast with a sharp and perceptive gaze upon those that populated it, Boudin conceived a new type of landscape painting, one that was inherently rooted in contemporary life, freed from the classicizing grandeur that had characterized 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” (quoted in ibid., p. 44).
Painted with loose, soft brushstrokes, Deauville, Juliette sous la tente also exemplifies the influential style that Boudin developed in his desire to capture a pure and spontaneous vision of nature and the landscape. This would come to be a major influence for the subsequent generation of Impressionist artists. Here, Boudin has picked out the warm tones of the scene, capturing this tranquil vista with a palette of soft ochre, yellow, and tones of red. The figures in the distance are just visible, rendered with a series of small, spontaneous brushstrokes. The figure of Juliette Cabaud dominates this picturesque vista; her dress rendered with hues of pale blue that complement the yellow tones of the sand that surrounds her. After the artist’s wife died in 1889, Boudin fell in love with Cabaud, a governess, who became his beloved companion in the last years of his life, accompanying him on his frequent travels to Italy and across the Mediterranean.

"We found this small Boudin, which we thought was particularly charming. Boudin seemed to be at his best in some of these beach scenes, with ladies dressed in colorful nineteenth-century dresses which today one would expect to see more in a ballroom than on a beach." —David Rockefeller

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