Eugène Boudin, Etretat at low tide
01 Marine Painting — With Footnotes, #341
Étretat is a commune in the Seine-Maritime department in Normandy in north-western France. It is a tourist and farming town.
Étretat is best known for its chalk cliffs of a complex stratigraphy of Turonian and Coniacian chalks. Some of the cliffs are as high as 90 metres (300 ft).
These cliffs and the associated resort beach attracted artists including Eugène Boudin, Gustave Courbet and Claude Monet. They were featured prominently in the 1909 Arsène Lupin novel The Hollow Needle by Maurice Leblanc. More on Étretat
Eugène Louis Boudin; 12 July 1824–8 August 1898) 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.
Born at Honfleur, Boudin was the son of a harbor pilot, and at age 10 the young boy worked on a steamboat that ran between Le Havre and Honfleur. In 1835 the family moved to Le Havre, where Boudin’s father opened a store for stationery and picture frames. Here the young Eugene worked, later opening his own small shop. In his shop, in which pictures were framed, Boudin came into contact with artists working in the area and exhibited in the shop their paintings. At the age of 22 he started painting full-time, and traveled to Paris the following year and then through Flanders. In 1850 he earned a scholarship that enabled him to move to Paris, although he often returned to paint in Normandy and, from 1855, made regular trips to Brittany.
In 1857/58 Boudin befriended the young Claude Monet, then only 18, and persuaded him to give up his teenage caricature drawings and to become a landscape painte. The two remained lifelong friends and Monet later paid tribute to Boudin’s early influence. Boudin joined Monet and his young friends in the first Impressionist exhibition in 1873, but never considered himself a radical or innovator.
Late in his life he returned to the south of France as a refuge from ill-health, and recognizing soon that the relief it could give him was almost spent, he returned to his home at Deauville, to die within sight of Channel waters and under the Channel skies he had painted so often. More on Eugène Louis Boudin
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