EUGENE BOUDIN (1824-1898), French painter of the paysage de mer, was the son of a pilot.
Boudin the elder now established himself as stationer and frame-maker; this time in the greater seaport town of Havre; and Eugene helped in the little business, and, in stolen hours, produced certain drawings.
Young Boudin found his desire to be a painter stimulated by their influence; his work made a certain progress, and the interest taken in the young man resulted in his being granted for a short term of years by the town of his adoption a pension, that he might study painting.
This conscientious and unmoving picture hangs in the museum of Havre, along with a hundred later, fresher, thoroughly individual studies and sketches, the gift of Boudin's brother, Louis Boudin, after the painter's death.
Re-established at Honfleur, Boudin was married and poor.
The war of 1870-7r found Boudin impecunious but great, for then there had well begun the series of freshly and vigorously conceived canvases and panels, which record the impressions of a precursor of the Impressionists in presence of the Channel waters, and of those autumn skies, or skies of summer, now radiant, now uncertain, which hung over the small ports and the rocky or chalk-cliff coasts, over the watering-places, Trouville, Dieppe, and over those larger harbours, with port and avant-port and bassin, of Dunkirk, of Havre.
In the war time, Boudin was in Brittany and then in the Low Countries.
The late 'eighties had to come and Boudin to be elderly before there was a sale for his work at any prices that were in the least substantial.
Not very long before it, Boudin, in a visit to Venice, had produced impressions of Venice for which much more was to be said than that they were not Ziem's.
As a "marine painter"- more properly as a painter of subjects in which water must have some part, and as curiously expert in the rendering of all that goes upon the sea, and as the painter too of the green banks of tidal rivers and of the long-stretched beach, with crinolined Parisienne noted as ably as the sailor-folk - Boudin stands alone.
The pastels of Boudin - summary and economic even in the 'sixties, at a time when his painted work was less free - obtained the splendid eulogy of Baudelaire, and it was no other than Corot who, before his pictures, said to him: "You are the master of the sky."
See also Gustave Cahen, Eugene Boudin (Paris, 1899); Arsene Alexandre, Essais; Frederick Wedmore, Whistler and Others (1906).