The Jacquemart-André Museum is organising the first parisian retrospective since the end of the 19th century devoted to the painter Eugène Boudin. With the participation of major international museums, this gathering of some sixty paintings, watercolours, and drawings will introduce: "Eugène Boudin, through his travels”.
Eugène Boudin, “King of the skies"
Known for his seascapes and beach scenes, Eugène Boudin (1824-1898) was one of the first French artists to take his easel outside the studio to paint landscapes. In his numerous paintings, he especially focused on the rendering of elements and atmospheric effects. As such, he was one of the initiators of a renewed view of nature, and thus preceded the impressionists in this approach, not to mention his friend Claude Monet, who wrote late in life: "I owe everything to Boudin."
Over the years, his palette became brighter and his touch lighter for a better rendition of reflections from the sky and water. From Normandy to Venice, which he discovered in his latter years, along with the beaches in the North, Brittany, and the South, he painted landscapes in movement in a subtle harmony of coloured greys. A genuine 'King of the skies", Eugène Boudin perfected the art of transcribing such changing elements as light, clouds, and waves.
General director of the exhibition, Laurent Manœuvre is gathering nearly sixty paintings, watercolours, and drawings, thanks to loans from major international museums, portraying Eugène Boudin in his quest for light, from Honfleur to Venice, and paying a wonderful tribute to this artist so closely associated with the sea and its seascapes.
An unprecedented exhibition with exceptional art on loan
Boudin's work very quickly attracted the interest of American art lovers. From the 1880’s, he was amongst the painters presented in the USA by the dealer Durand-Ruel. As a result, North American museums now hold a bounty of works by the artist, the likes of which are not to be found in any other public collections in Europe. Thanks to loans provided namely by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, some of his works will be shown for the first time in France since they were purchased by avant-garde American art aficionados.
For this exhibition, the Jacquemart-André Museum also benefited from the help of the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, the Québec National Fine Arts Museum, and naturally the support of the André Malraux Modern Art Museum in Le Havre, not to mention the Eugène Boudin Museum in Honfleur, which has the largest collectionof works by the artist in France.
The curatorial team
Laurent Manœuvre, who specialises in Eugène Boudin and is himself a painter, has devoted several studies and publications to the artist, including Boudin and Normandy (Herscher, 1991) and Boudin: sky and sea (Herscher, 1994). He has also participated in the organisation of numerous exhibitions in France and abroad, amongst which the Eugène Boudin retrospective presented in 1992 at the Eugène Boudin Museum in Honfleur.
Nicolas Sainte-Fare Garnot, curator at the Jacquemart-André Museum.