‘Everything that is painted directly and on the spot always has strength, a power, and a vivacity of touch one cannot recover in the studio. Three strokes of the brush in front of nature are worth more than two days of work at the easel.’ – Quotation from Boudin’s sketchbook
Eugne Boudin was one of the most important precursors of the Impressionist movement with his fondness for painting directly from nature with free, naturalistic brushwork and his fascination with studying the effects of light. Born in Honfleur, the son of a harbour pilot, Boudin was brought up by the sea. From a young age his passion, and visible talent, for drawing was encouraged and although Boudin did not follow his fathers footsteps, he retained a close bond with the sea, and it would become the subject of the majority of his works. Largely self-taught, Boudin advocated en plein air painting to his artistic peers, and upon meeting Claude Monet encouraged the younger artist to take up oil painting. Boudins sun-drenched brushwork was praised by his contemporaries for its ability to capture the ever-changing skies of northern maritime France, with Corot exclaiming Boudin to be the King of the Skies.