Eugène Boudin quotes

Eugène Boudin photo
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Eugène Boudin

Birthdate: 12. July 1824
Date of death: 8. August 1898

Eugène Louis Boudin was one of the first French landscape painters to paint outdoors. Boudin was a marine painter, and expert in the rendering of all that goes upon the sea and along its shores. His pastels, summary and economic, garnered the splendid eulogy of Baudelaire; and Corot called him the "King of the skies".

„I think I will go back to mahogany [wood, as layer for his paintings], the only stable wood, together with old oak. But mahogany is so heavy. And it has another drawback, it blackens even through the primers if they are not thick enough and applied in several coats.“

—  Eugène Boudin

Quote from Boudin's letter in 1894; as cited in 'Figures on the Beach in Trouville, 1869', by Anne-Marie Bergeret-Gourbin https://www.museothyssen.org/en/collection/artists/boudin-eugene/figures-beach-trouville, Museo Thyssen
Eighty percent of Boudin's beach scenes are painted on wood panels; in small formats, c. 30 x 45 cm
1880s - 1890s

„I exhaust myself terribly to content the world, and never manage to content myself.“

—  Eugène Boudin

Quote of Boudin's note, c. 1890; as cited in G. Jean-Aubry & Robert Schmit, Eugène Boudin, Greenwich: New York Graphic Society, 1968, p. 115
1880s - 1890s

„[Venice is] somewhat disguised by the artists who usually paint Venice, who have disfigured it by turning it into a city heated by the brightest and hottest sun. On the contrary, Venice, like all luminous cities, has a grey hue, the atmosphere is mild and misty and the sky arrays itself with clouds, just like the sky of our Norman and Dutch regions.“

—  Eugène Boudin

Quote of Boudin's letter, from Venice, 1895; to art-dealer Durand-Ruel; as cited in 'Venice, The Grand Canal' 1895, by Anne-Marie Bergeret-Gourbin https://www.museothyssen.org/en/collection/artists/boudin-eugene/venice-grand-canal, Museo Thyssen
1880s - 1890s

„I am a loner, a daydreamer who has been content to remain in his part of the world and look at the sky. The future will treat me as it does all of us. I am very much afraid it may be oblivion.“

—  Eugène Boudin

Quote of Boudin, as cited by Dalya Alberge, in 'Life's a beach: Boudin...' in 'Independent online' http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/lifes-a-beach-boudin-was-well-a-bit-on-the-dull-side-but-his-paintings-were-wild-and-beautiful-dalya-1471851.html, 9 February 1993
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„I regret I no longer have the years of youth needed to create a beautiful series of views of this place, which would in any case be rather difficult to paint due to the monuments, which require a good draughtsmanship and long stays in the city, like Ziem used to do in the past.“

—  Eugène Boudin

Quote of Boudin from Venice, c. 1893-94; as cited in 'Venice, The Grand Canal', by Anne-Marie Bergeret-Gourbin https://www.museothyssen.org/en/collection/artists/boudin-eugene/venice-grand-canal, Museo Thyssen
1880s - 1890s

„.. my trip to Venice [during 1895] will have been my swansong.“

—  Eugène Boudin

Boudin's confession to his friend Braquaval, May 1896; as cited in 'Venice, The Grand Canal' 1895, by Anne-Marie Bergeret-Gourbin https://www.museothyssen.org/en/collection/artists/boudin-eugene/venice-grand-canal, Museo Thyssen
In spite of his age and poor health, Boudin painted 75 paintings of Venice, in 1895
1880s - 1890s

„Imagine an immense plain.... in the middle, a small Gothic chapel surrounded by trees.... around that a hundred tents made of white canvas.... in open-air kitchens huge pots of boiling soup, incredible ragouts..“

—  Eugène Boudin

Quote of Boudin in a letter to his brother, 1857; as cited in the descritption of 'The Pardon of Saint-Anne-La-Palud' by the Met-museum https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/744059]
Boudin described in his typical way the scene of the sacred procession of the Pardon of Saint-Anne-la-Palud, a major religious festival in Brittany, that he witnessed in 1857
1850s - 1870s

„They [the holiday-visitors near Le Havre] love my little ladies [paintings] on the beach, and some people say that there's a thread of gold to exploit there.“

—  Eugène Boudin

Quote in Boudin's letter to family-friend Ferdinand Martin, from Paris, 12 February 1863; as cited by Colin B. Bailey in The Annenberg Collection: Masterpieces of Impressionism and Post-impressionism, publisher, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2009, p. 11
1850s - 1870s

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„I dare not think of the sun-drenched beaches and the stormy skies, and of the joy of painting them in the sea breezes.“

—  Eugène Boudin

Quote in a letter, from Paris 14 June 1869, to family-friend Ferdinand Martin; as cited by Colin B. Bailey in The Annenberg Collection: Masterpieces of Impressionism and Post-impressionism, publisher, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2009, p. 7
Boudin felt himself detained in the big city Paris and longed fort the beach
1850s - 1870s

„When I got back [from Le Havre], where I had made several sketches of the harbour exit, I thought of placing the sun in the background. I liked the picture so much that I painted it ten times over, with its three-master and its sun.“

—  Eugène Boudin

Quote from Boudin's letter, 1882; as cited in the article 'Artists around Monet http://www.muma-lehavre.fr/en/exhibitions/impressions-sun/artists-around-monet, Muma-museum, Le Havre
1880s - 1890s

„I am obsessed with the idea of leaving. I must travel, for that would probably relax me.“

—  Eugène Boudin

Quote from Boudin's Journal, c. 1890; as cited in G. Jean-Aubry & Robert Schmit, Eugène Boudin, Greenwich: New York Graphic Society, 1968, p. 21
1880s - 1890s

„I have too often contented myself with being a hasty improviser: I have spent too much time exploring fleeting effects of the sky and sea.“

—  Eugène Boudin

Quote of Boudin; as cited in Eugene Boudin, L'atelier de la Lumière' http://www.muma-lehavre.fr/en/exhibitions/eugene-boudin-latelier-de-la-lumiere/variations, Museum Muma, Le Havre
undated quotes

„I shall do other things, but I will always be the painter of beaches.“

—  Eugène Boudin

Quote from Boudin's letter to his brother, 1865; as cited in Boudin, Lady in white on the beach of Trouville http://www.muma-lehavre.fr/en/collections/artworks-in-context/eugene-boudin/boudin-lady-white-beach-trouville
the genre of beach-painting became then an immediate success with art enthusiasts
1850s - 1870s

„To swim in the open sky. To achieve the tenderness of clouds. To suspend these masses in the distance, very far away in the grey mist, make the blue explode. I feel all this coming, dawning in my intentions. What joy and what torment! If the bottom were still, perhaps I would never reach these depths. Did they do better in the past? Did the Dutch achieve the poetry of clouds I seek? That tenderness of the sky which even extends to admiration, to worship: it is no exaggeration.“

—  Eugène Boudin

Diary-note of Boudin, 3 December, 1856; as cited in the description of his painting 'Sky, Setting Sun, Bushes in Foreground' http://www.muma-lehavre.fr/en/collections/artworks-in-context/eugene-boudin/boudin-skies, by the Muma-museum, Le Havre
A quote from Boudin's personal diary sheds remarkable light on a small group of his sky studies
1850s - 1870s

„I find my work increasingly more straining, in particular since I have been trying to finish my studies outside.“

—  Eugène Boudin

Quote from Boudin's letter to his friend Braquaval, 1 March 1895; as cited in 'The River Touques at Saint-Arnoult, 1895', by Anne-Marie Bergeret-Gourbin https://www.museothyssen.org/en/collection/artists/boudin-eugene/river-touques-saint-arnoult, Museo Thyssen
1880s - 1890s

„[I have] done various series of seascapes in different genres, beaches which demonstrated if not great art at least a reasonably faithful reproduction of the people of our age.“

—  Eugène Boudin

Quote of Boudin, as cited by Dalya Alberge, in 'Life's a beach: Boudin...' in 'Independent online' http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/lifes-a-beach-boudin-was-well-a-bit-on-the-dull-side-but-his-paintings-were-wild-and-beautiful-dalya-1471851.html, 9 February 1993
Boudin's reaction when a art-critic asked him for some biographical details
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