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Audio: Eugene Bodin Lot 1243
Eugene Boudin (1824-1898)
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Property of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Deaccessioned to Benefit Art Purchases at the Art Gallery of Ontario With a collection of more than 80,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. From the vast body of Group of Seven and signature Canadian works to the African art gallery, from the cutting-edge contemporary art to Peter Paul Rubens’ masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, the AGO offers an extraordinary experience with each visit. In 2002 Ken Thomson’s generous gift of 2,000 remarkable works of Canadian and European art inspired Transformation AGO, an innovative architectural expansion by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry that in 2008 resulted in one of the most critically acclaimed architectural achievements in North America. The AGO has recently refined its deaccessioning policy as part of an effort to refine and improve the public, community and art historical value of its collection. The Gallery recognizes that deaccessioning is an important part of collections care, and adheres to the guidelines agreed upon by the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) and the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC). The deaccessioning of the following lots was part of carefully guided process in which the works were subjected to a rigorous and thorough review by the AGO’s curatorial staff, executive team and board members, in consultation with donors or their legal representatives.
Eugene Boudin (1824-1898)

Bordeaux, le port

Eugene Boudin (1824-1898)
Bordeaux, le port
oil on canvas
29 ½ x 39 ¼ in. (75.2 x 100 cm.)
Painted in Bordeaux circa 1874-1876
Anon. sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 5 May 1902, lot 8.
Arthur Tooth & Sons, Ltd., London.
Acquired from the above by the present owner, April 1937.
R. Schmit, Eugène Boudin, Paris, 1973, vol. I, p. 356, no. 1004 (illustrated with signature).

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David Kleiweg de Zwaan
David Kleiweg de Zwaan

Lot Essay

Although Boudin dedicated most of his career to painting the coast of Normandy, he also paid numerous visits to the prospering Atlantic port of Bordeaux between 1852 and 1893. During these years he regularly exhibited there and was patronized by local collectors. The present, unusually large-scale composition depicts the thriving port along the river Garonne and was probably painted in the fall of 1874 when Boudin stayed in the port city for six weeks, painting a total of forty-seven works. In Bordeaux, le port, the artist has captured a spontaneous, fleeting moment in which varied masts and sails crowd the busy waterfront. The monumental scale of the work allowed Boudin to indulge his skill with atmospheric effects; a low, broad horizon offering a great expanse of sky rising above the ships, its rich tones punctuated by freely-applied wisps of fresh white cloud and framed by the luminous earth colors of the quayside. 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."
Boudin’s free brushwork and uninhibited observation of contemporary life identify him as a forerunner of Impressionism. Indeed, it was in 1874, the year the present lot was painted, that the first Impressionist exhibition was held in Paris. Boudin was invited to the exhibition and sent three paintings, one of Finistère and two of the Côtes du Nord, six pastels (including four depicting studies of skies) and four watercolors of the beach at Trouville.

(fig. 1) The artist, circa 1875.

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