Eugène Boudin (1824-1898) Étude de ciel
stamped with initials ‘E.B’ (Lugt 828; lower right)
pastel on tinted paper
4 ¾ x 5 ¾ in. (11.8 x 14.6 cm.)
Executed between 1858 and 1865
Claude Monet, Giverny.
Michel Monet, Giverny (by descent from the above).
Rolande Verneiges, France (gift from the above).
By descent from the above to the present owner.
Post lot text
When the first exhibition of the Societé Anonyme des artistes peintres, sculpteurs, graveurs, etc., opened in the former studios of the famed photographer Nadar on the 15 April 1874, few people could have predicted the manner in which it would violently shake the foundations of the Parisian art world. This revolutionary event marked the first occasion in which a group of artists banded together to show their work to the public directly, without the official approval of the Academy. As one of the principal organisers of the exhibition, Monet was actively involved in recruiting artists to their venture, and strongly encouraged Boudin to join them. Although most critics made no reference to the artist on this occasion, the presence of six works by Boudin must have been viewed by Monet as a major vote of confidence from his esteemed mentor. Boudin’s practice of painting en plein air was particularly important for Monet, and would come to be a cornerstone of his brand of Impressionism. Previously in the 18th century, French and English painters such as John Constable were already executing sketches en plein air, which were intended as preliminary studies for their future canvases. However, the introduction of portable tubes of paint in 1841 granted artists a new degree of freedom, allowing them to bring their canvas with them into the open air to study the fleeting beauty of colors and light in the landscape firsthand.