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Eugène Boudin (1824-1898)
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Eugène Boudin (1824-1898)

Abbeville. Rue et Église Saint-Vulfran

Details
Eugène Boudin (1824-1898)
Abbeville. Rue et Église Saint-Vulfran
signed and dated 'E.Boudin 94' (lower left) and inscribed 'Abbeville 17 Juillet' (lower right)
oil on panel
18 x 14 7/8 in. (45.5 x 37.6 cm.)
Painted in 1894
Provenance
Allard et Noël, Paris.
Sir William H. Raeburn, Helensburgh, Scotland.
Mrs. K. A. McKenzie, London; sale, Christie's, London, 25 July 1958, lot 10.
Arthur Tooth & Sons Ltd., London.
Lady Baillie, London and Leeds Castle; sale, Sotheby's, London, 2 July 1969, lot 14.
Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Lugano, by whom acquired at the above sale; sale, Phillips de Pury & Luxembourg, London, 24 June 2002, lot 2.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
Literature
R. Schmit, Eugène Boudin, 1824-1898, vol. III, Paris, 1973, no. 3244, p. 245 (illustrated; with incorrect inscription).
Exhibited
Paris, École des Beaux-Arts, Exposition des Oeuvres d'Eugène Boudin, January 1899, no. 57, p. 7 (titled 'Cathédrale d'Abbeville').
Baden, Stiftung Langmatt, Eugène Boudin, A l'aube de l'impressionnisme, April - June 2000, no. 53, pp. 88 & 170 (illustrated p. 88); this exhibition later travelled to Lausanne, Fondation de l'Hermitage.
Special Notice

These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.
Sale Room Notice
Please note this work is inscribed ‘Abbeville 17 Juillet' and not 'Abbeville St. Vulfran' as stated in the printed catalogue.

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Keith Gill
Keith Gill Head of Day Sale

Lot Essay

Painted by Eugène Boudin in 1894, Abbeville. Rue et Eglise Saint-Vulfran is a rare townscape by the artist, formerly from the collection of the heiress Lady Baillie and more recently the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Lugano.

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. 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. 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. 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 the genre up until this point. In 1868 he wrote, ‘[I have been congratulated] for daring to include the things and people of our own time in my pictures..’ (Boudin, quoted in V. Hamilton, exh. cat., Boudin at Trouville, Glasgow & London, 1992-1993, p. 20).

Boudin would paint many pictures of the seascape and beach at Abbeville, but very few of the centre of the town, as seen in Abbeville. Rue et Eglise Saint-Vulfran. He was undoubtedly drawn, like many artists visiting Abbeville before him, including J. M. W. Turner, to the Gothic towers of the medieval Eglise Saint-Vulfran, soaring over the streets and buildings of the town centre. The figures of Abbeville. Rue et Eglise Saint-Vulfran are arranged across the wide, panoramic expanse of the street, with colourful shop fronts to the left and right. Using small, rapid brushstrokes and flashes of bold, pure colour, Boudin has not only conjured the subtle nuances of light on the facades of the buildings, but he has also captured the spectacle of the local people going about their daily business.

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