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Eugène-Louis Boudin

Eugène-Louis Boudin is an important transitional figure between the carefully observed naturalism of the Barbizon School, and the brilliant light and fluid brushwork characteristic of impressionism. The Barbizon School painters are recognized as the first to paint outdoors, en plein air, a practice which Boudin continued throughout his career. The son of a mariner, Boudin was born and grew up along the Normandy coast of France, which became the primary subject matter of his paintings. Although Boudin studied in Paris and traveled regularly throughout Europe, he always returned to his hometown of Honfleur, to paint by the sea. With a luminous palette and quick, loose brushwork, Boudin masterfully captures the light and atmosphere of this scene at Étretat, a small fishing village near Honfleur. Storm clouds, now gathered over a tiny white chapel on the bluff, have cleared above a stretch of rocky beach where a group of fishing boats are docked. The agitated movement and sparkling reflections of the ocean further display Boudin’s ability to evoke the light and weather conditions of this location.
Eugène-Louis Boudin
(French, 1824 - 1898)
Oil on canvas
30 15/16 x 43 7/16 in. Overall
Gift of Mrs. Frank P. Hixon
Accession No.


1891, purchased from the artist, Eugène-Louis Boudin, by Galleries Durand-Ruel [Paul Durand-Ruel] (Paris, France); 20 November 1891, sold by Galleries Durand-Ruel to M. Sanmarcelli (Paris, France); 22 April 1895, sold by M. Sanmarcelli at Hotel Drouot to Baronne Olivera de Castro (Paris, France); 19 June 1896, sold by Baronne de Castro at Galerie Georges Petit (Paris, France) to J.W. Kauffmann (New York, NY); 3 February 1905, sold by Kauffmann to Hugo Reisinger (New York, NY); 18-20 January 1916, sold by Reisinger to J. Breck (New York, NY); after 1916, Private collection [Hixon?]; 1931, Frank P. Hixon (Lake Forest, IL); 1970, Mrs. Frank P. Hixon gifted to Elvehjem Art Center [now called Chazen Museum of Art]

  • House, John, "Impressionists by the Sea." London: Royal Academy of Arts, 2007. p. 135, no. 40
  • Rogers, Millard F., Jr. "Paintings at the Elvehjem Art Center, University of Wisconsin." The Magazine Antiques. Vol. CVIII, No. 6, December (1975). p. 1155, fig. 12
  • Elvehjem Art Center. "Inaugural Exhibition: 19th & 20th Century Art from Collections of Alumni & Friends." Madison, WI: Regents of the University of Wisconsin, 1970. p. 28, no. 11
  • "SchoolsMusuemsART (SMART) Project." Madison, WI: Madison Metropolitan School District, 2002.
  • Eisenman, Stephen F., ed. "From Corot to Monet: The Ecology of Impressionism." Rome: Skira Editore, 2010. frontispiece, p. 333
  • Committee on Institutional Cooperation. "Paintings from Midwestern University Collections: Seventeenth-Twentieth Centuries." Evanston, Ill.: Committee on Institutional Cooperation, 1973. p. 86-87, no. 32
  • Elvehjem Museum of Art. "Handbook of the Collection." Elvehjem Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Madison, 1990. no. 98
  • Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza. "Monet/Boudin." Madrid: Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, 2018. p. 203, no. 79
  • Ishikawa, Chiyo. "Monet at Étretat." Seattle: Seattle Art Museum, 2021. pp. 57, 60, 72, fig. 30

  • Monet at Étretat: Seattle Art Museum, 7/1/2021–10/17/2021
  • Monet / Boudin : Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, 6/26/2018–9/30/2018
  • Impressionism and the Ecology of Landscape: Complesso del Vittoriano, 3/5/2010–6/29/2010
  • Paintings from Midwestern University Collections: 17th-20th Centuries: Committee on Institutional Cooperation and Member Universities, 10/3/1973–4/27/1975
  • Recent Acquisitions: Elvehjem Art Center, 6/11/1971–8/29/1971
  • Inaugural Exhibition: 19th & 20th Cen. Art from Collection of Alumni & Friends: Elvehjem Art Center, 9/11/1970–11/8/1970

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