Eugene Boudin was a French painter from the Impressionist movement. Boudin was known as one of the first French landscape artists to paint outdoors, or en plein air. He was mainly recognized for his exquisite seascapes, executed with masterful rendering ranging from the clouds to the reflection on the water.
Eugene Louis Boudin was born in July 1824, in Honfleur, France, his father was a harbor pilot. At age 10, he already worked on a steamboat that sailed between Honfleur and Le Havre, where he then moved with his family in 1835. His father opened a picture frame store, leaving the seafaring life, and thus his son gave it up as well since he had no vocation for it.
Later on, Boudin would open his shop, where pictures were framed. In this period, he came to meet many artists working in the region, as well as having exhibited paintings by Jean-Francois Millet and Constant Troyon. He was also encouraged to pursue an artistic career by Thomas Couture and Jean-Baptiste Isabey.
By his 22 years, he would abandon the commerce career and devoted himself only to painting. He traveled to Flanders and Paris, and in 1850 earned a scholarship that allowed him to move to the later. He would still return to the Normandy region regularly to paint, as well as to Brittany.
Eugene Boudin was heavily influenced by the Dutch masters from the 17th century. He came to meet the Dutch painter Johan Jongkind, who suggested Boudin paint outdoors. The artist made many notable acquaintances, like Gustave Courbet, who him to poet and critic Charles Baudelaire. He was the first critic to raise Boudin`s artworks to public attention in his Paris Salon debut in 1859. By that time, Boudin was already friends with young Claude Monet, who was still around 18 years old, and Boudin`s influences in his work can be noticed, especially on how they represented water reflections.
Because of the artist’s growing reputation, he was able to travel extensively during the 1870s — he visite southern France, the Netherlands, Belgium, and later, several trips to Venice. Towards his late life, the artist continued to participate in exhibitions. In 1881, he received a third-place medal at the Paris Salon and a gold medal at the Exposition Universelle of 1889.
In 1892, Boudin became a knight of the Legion of Honor, the highest civil and military order of merit of the French government.