Eugène Boudin


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Status, price and estimation of the artist Eugène Boudin

Price of a painting: 2,600 – 796,600 €.

Price of a drawing: 300 – 51,300 €.

Estimation of a print: 20 – 2,200 €.

If you would like to have a work by Eugène Boudin appraised, our experts will take care of everything.

From papermaker to artist

Eugène-Louis Boudin was a French painter born in Honfleur in 1824, he died in Deauville in 1898.Boudin was a pioneer of outdoor painting, and became famous for his seascapes and depictions of beaches. He is considered today as one of the precursors of Impressionism.

Eugène Boudin was born in Normandy to a sailor father who was a sailor and a chambermaid mother. In 1835, the family moved to Le Havre. Boudin first worked there as an apprentice sailor, before becoming a clerk for printer Joseph Morlent, then for papermaker Alphonse Lemasle.

In 1844, he opened his own shop as a papermaker and framer where he exhibited a few paintings. This allowed him to meet several painters from Barbizon, including Constant Troyon and Eugène Isabey. At the age of 20, Boudin started drawing. Two years later, with the encouragement of Jean-François Millet and Thomas Couture, he decided to devote himself to an artistic career.

Boudin then enrolled in drawing classes. In 1851, he obtained a scholarship thanks to the support of Troyon, Couture and Adolphe-Hippolyte, the curator of the Le Havre museum. Thanks to this grant, the young man was able to move to Paris that same year to study painting. He then joined Eugène Isabey’s studio and frequently went to the Louvre to copy the great masters.

A critically acclaimed painter, but shunned by the public

From 1855 onwards, Boudin was able to begin his real career as a painter. He then decided to divide his life between the French capital and Normandy, spending his winters in Paris and his summers in Honfleur. In 1857, Boudin held his first exhibition. Two years later, he was admitted for the first time to the Salon with his work Un pardon à Saint-Anne-la-Palud. The painter, then 35 years old, was on this occasion honoured by Charles Baudelaire. Despite these promising beginnings, Boudin found it difficult to make a living from his art and to find buyers for his paintings.

In 1859, he befriended Gustave Courbet and Claude Monet. Boudin, who was interested in outdoor painting from an early age, introduced Monet to this technique during a stay in Honfleur. As the son of a sailor, he first devoted himself to painting seascapes. Boats, harbours and fishermen caught in the action were his favourite subjects.

Then, in the early 1960s, he witnessed the creation of the seaside resort of Deauville. The second half of the 19th century was marked by the development of rail transport and the great fashion for sea bathing. The beaches were then populated by elegant ladies and gentlemen. Inspired by these worldly scenes and by the light of the coast, Boudin began to create beach scenes, which today he is still closely associated with.

Although the public was not won over by his compositions, critics, on the other hand, praised the painter’s work. In particular, his work on the sky and atmospheric effects attracted the attention of the artists of the time. Camille Corot nicknamed Boudin the “King of skies” while Baudelaire dubbed him the “Painter of meteorological beauties”.

The Impressionist turn and recognition

Considered by his colleagues as an avant-garde painter and a precursor of the movement, Boudin took part in the first Impressionist Exhibition of 1874. From that date on, his reputation grew considerably.

His situation improved and he was able to make many trips during the 1870s, visiting Flanders, the south of France and Italy. At the 1881 Salon, his work La Meuse à Rotterdam was awarded the third-place medal. In 1886, several of his canvases appeared at the great Impressionist Exhibition organised by Durand-Ruel in New York. Three years later, he exhibited two paintings at the Universal Exhibition in Paris. Boudin’s Marine – Les Lamaneurs as well as Sunset earned him a gold medal.

Following his wife’s death in 1889, Boudin decided to spend his winters in the South of France, before settling in the French Riviera. He continued to exhibit in Paris and to paint in the open air, and took several trips to Venice in search of inspiration.

In 1898, he felt he was growing weak while in Paris. He asked to be transported to Deauville to die “looking out to sea”. He died there on August 8, leaving more than 4,500 paintings behind and just as many drawings and watercolours.

Recognising Eugène Boudin’s signature

Like many artists, Boudin did not sign all of his works. However, you will find below an example of the signatures to give you an idea. Variations of these signatures do exist, do not hesitate to contact one of our experts to formally authenticate a signature.

expertise signature boudin

Appraising and selling a piece by Eugène Boudin

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You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent view of the market price of your piece. In the context of a possible sale, our specialists will also advise you on the different options available to sell your work at the best price.