If you missed Eugene Boudin’s birthday on July 12th, don’t fret. He was actually born in 1824 and isn’t around to receive your birthday greetings! We’re still celebrating, though, because the French-born impressionist Eugene Boudin created art perfect for summer! Get ready for some sailboats, beach scenes, and some great gift ideas for someone in your life who is still around to have a birthday celebration!
Eugene Boudin: The Ultimate Impressionist Beach Bum
For those of us who can’t get to the beach as much as we would like, Eugene Boudin can step in and fill that void! Boudin’s beach scenes depict sunbathers more fully-clothed than we’re used to seeing, but that’s not a bad thing, right? From groups of adults seemingly sitting on wooden chairs in Trouville, to epic family picnics, these impressionist beach paintings deliver the taste of summer we’re all looking for. (Bringing dining room chairs to the beach might become a new trend… who knows!)
Our favorite beach scene at Trouville shows us a beautiful blue sky littered with clouds, fresh sand, and plenty of those wooden chairs! (We even get to see a few tipped over during some particularly crazy beach shenanigans!
The “King of the Skies”
Eugene Boudin clearly loved the sky. Most landscape painters do. But there is something special about Boudin’s depiction of the shoreline up against the blue, clouded expanse. Maybe it was because young Eugene worked on a steamboat. Maybe it was because of his apparent “sailor’s character.” (Some say he was frank, accessible, and open-hearted like many of those who spent their lives at sea.) But one thing is for sure: when Boudin started painting full time at the age of 22, he quickly looked to the sky.
On the backs of many of Boudin’s original paintings, recipients found writing. The painter often recorded the weather, light, and time of day he worked on each landscape. He loved bright hues, and the way that light hit the water. Though these depictions were not innovative or necessarily revolutionary, they were still universally loved.
It was when Boudin met Claude Monet (heard of him?) as a teenager that he dove into beach landscapes headfirst. Monet and Boudin remained friends and mutual influences during their painting career.
Boudin’s 1890 painting Coastline and Sky, featured below, showcases his brilliant observation of nature. We love the brightness and color used in this piece.
Accessible Impressionism with Eugene Boudin
No one, including Eugene Boudin himself, considered him a revolutionary painter. But there is something about the humanness of his life and his work that makes him so accessible to so many. Not that Boudin didn’t receive recognition while he was alive. He won multiple medals in art salons in London and France in the last 1800s. Though it may have been later in his career, he was also knighted. Boudin became a knight of the Legion d’honneur in 1892. Not every basic sailor can claim that honor.
Boudin died not much later in 1898. He was, appropriately, within sight of the English Channel at the time of his death. Not only that, but he was underneath a beautiful blue sky. We imagine that Boudin, the “King of the Skies,” wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
To browse more prints of Boudin’s work, take a look at our full gallery here. We know you’ll fall in love with the landscapes as this impressionist painter interpreted them!