August 8, On This Day
Did you know that French painter Eugène Boudin motivated young Claude Monet to give up his teenage caricature drawings and become a landscape painter? Now that’s a legacy that still enthralls the world!
Boudin was one of the first landscape painters of France to paint outdoors and an expert marine painter also hailed as ‘King of the skies’ for his vivid pastels.
Born in July 1824, he passed away on August 8, 1898, at the age of 74. A young Boudin worked on a steamboat between Le Havre and Honfleur, which seafaring gave him much inspiration to create the artworks he went on to paint. At the age of 22, he travelled to Paris and embarked on his career as an artist. Dutch 17th-century masters profoundly influenced him.
In 1859, he met famous French Realist painter Gustave Courbet, who in turn introduced him to notable art critic Charles Baudelaire — the first critic to draw Boudin’s talents to public attention when the artist made his debut at the 1859 Paris Salon.
The year before that, Boudin met young Claude Monet, and helped instill in him a love of bright hues and the play of light on water — later evident in Monet’s Impressionist masterpieces. The two remained lifelong friends and Monet even paid tribute later to Boudin’s early influence.
In 1892, Boudin was made a knight of the Légion d’honneur, which is seen as a somewhat tardy recognition of his talents and influence on the art of his contemporaries.
In 1898, observing that his life was almost spent, he returned to his home at Deauville, to die within sight of the English Channel under the skies he had painted so often.