- Eugène Boudin
SCÈNE DE PLAGE À TROUVILLE
- signed E. Boudin and dated 64 (lower right)
- oil on board
- 31 by 48.5cm.
- 12 1/4 by 19 1/8 in.
Sale: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 10th March 1867, lot 7
Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris
Private Collection, France (sale: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 20th April 1874, lot 3)
Arthur Tooth & Sons, London
Mrs Margaret Thompson Biddle, Paris (sale: Galerie Charpentier, Paris, 14th June 1957, lot 7)
Private Collection, France
M. Knoedler & Co., New York
Mr & Mrs Arnold Askin, Katonah, New York (acquired from the above in 1962)
New York, E. V. Thaw & Co., Eugène Boudin, 1962, no. 19, illustrated in the catalogue (titled La Plage de Trouville)
New York, Wildenstein & Co., Birth of Impressionism, 1963, no. 9, illustrated in the catalogue
New York, Coe Kerr Gallery; New York, William Beadleston, Inc. & London, William Beadleston, Inc., The Askin Collection. Paintings, Sculpture, Pastels and Watercolors from the Estate of Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Askin, 1989, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Georges Jean-Aubrey, Eugène Boudin. La vie et l'œuvre d'après les lettres et les documents inédits, Neuchâtel, 1968, illustrated p. 206 (titled Les Crinolines sur la plage de Trouville, as dating from 1874 and with incorrect medium and measurements)
Robert Schmit, Eugène Boudin, 1824-1898, Paris, 1973, vol. I, no. 309, illustrated p. 109
Scène de plage à Trouville is a beautiful early example of Boudin’s favourite subject, that of fashionably dressed figures on the beach of Trouville. Having settled in Paris after his marriage in 1863, throughout the 1860s and 1870s Boudin travelled every summer to Trouville, where he had found the inspiration to paint endless variations on the themes most dear to him. Jean Selz wrote: ‘What fascinated Boudin at Trouville and Deauville was not so much the sea and ships but the groups of people sitting on the sand or strolling along the beach: fine ladies in crinolines twirling their parasols, pompous gentlemen in top hats, children and little dogs playing on the sand. In the harmony of the colours of the elegant clothes he found a contrast to the delicacy of the skies’ (J. Selz, Eugène Boudin, New York, 1982, p. 57).
By the second half of the nineteenth century Trouville had become a fashionable summer retreat for the French aristocracy, and their colourful costumes provided a subject-matter to which Boudin returned throughout his career. Captivated by the picturesque dress of these elegant society figures, Boudin rendered them in quick, Impressionistic brushstrokes highlighted by bright blue and red tones. What fascinated the artist was the contrast between these densely grouped men and women and the expanses of the sky against which they are depicted. Boudin’s interest in capturing the fleeting effects of sunlight on sumptuous fabrics and the effect of a windy day on the flowing garments, so masterfully explored in the present painting, was to have a profound influence on Impressionist artists.