Eugène Boudin

Eugène Boudin
Born July 12, 1824
Died August 8, 1898
Nationality French
Field Painter
Work View Famous Works

The French artist Eugène Boudin was born in 1824 in Honfleur, near the mouth of the Seine. Boudin’s father operated a ferry service across the Seine estuary between Honfleur and Le Havre, and at an early age Boudin went to work on the ferry.

Following an accident when he fell overboard and almost drowned, his mother refused to let him work on the ferry again and instead sent the young Boudin to school. His artistic talents were soon spotted, and the artist received great encouragement. His sea-faring background always stayed with him, and many of his works have a maritime theme.

The Boudin family moved across the river to Le Havre in 1835, and Boudin’s father started his own picture framing and stationery business. The shop was frequented by several leading painters, including Jean-Francois Millet, who gave further encouragement to the young Boudin, and gave him the confidence to become a full-time painter.

Boudin won a scholarship to study in Paris in 1850, and the artist took up residence there. However, throughout the remainder of his life, the call of the sea meant he frequently returned to the Normandy and Brittany coastlines. He died in Deauville in 1898.


Boudin was a prolific painter and produced hundreds of works over more than 50 years. These include Sailboats at Trouville, Sea Port, and The Beach at Villerville.


Boudin was one of the first French painters to paint his landscape works outdoors. As a result, he developed an insight into totally different facets of light. His artwork became studies of how light affected subjects, and the lighting and color became more important than the subject itself.

The father of impressionism, Claude Monet, acknowledged the influence that Boudin had on him. The two were friends and had worked together, and Boudin repeatedly urged Monet to come to Honfleur to experience the light. Monet eventually accepted the offer and it was to change his style forever.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *