191
191

PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE MIDWESTERN COLLECTOR

Eugène Boudin
FÉCAMP, LE BASSIN
Estimate
200,000300,000
LOT SOLD. 312,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
191

PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE MIDWESTERN COLLECTOR

Eugène Boudin
FÉCAMP, LE BASSIN
Estimate
200,000300,000
LOT SOLD. 312,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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New York

Eugène Boudin
1824 - 1898
FÉCAMP, LE BASSIN
Signed E. Boudin, inscribed Fécamp and dated 92 (lower left); dated 14 Août 92 (lower right)
Oil on canvas
16 1/4 by 22 1/4 in.
41.3 by 56.5 cm
Painted in Fécamp on August 14, 1892. 
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Provenance

Frederick Bonner, New York (and sold: American Art Galleries, New York, January 24, 1912, lot 28) 
Alex M. Hudnut, New York (acquired at the above sale and sold: American Art Association, Anderson Galleries, Inc., New York, February 4-5, 1932, lot 120)
Dolores Falasca, New York (acquired at the above sale and sold: American Art Association, Anderson Galleries, Inc., New York, January 19, 1933, lot 67)
N.K. Winston (acquired at the above sale)
Albert A. Tilney, New York
J. Wickersham Jr. (and sold: Sotheby's, New York, May 18, 1990, lot 311)
S. Black (acquired at the above sale)
Sale: Christie's, New York, May 14, 1997, lot 22
Sale: Christie’s, New York, May 8, 2003, lot 148
Acquired at the above sale

Literature

Ruth L. Benjamin, Eugène Boudin, New York, 1937, p. 189
Robert Schmit, Eugène Boudin, 1824-1898, vol. III, Paris, 1973, no. 2911, illustrated p. 127

Catalogue Note

Boudin’s sun-drenched brushwork was praised by his peers for its ability to capture the ever-changing skies of northern maritime France. He received effusive accolades from his peers, most notably Corot who famously hailed him the “King of the Sky” and Courbet who was moved to declare: “My God, you are a seraph, Boudin! You are the only one of us who really knows the sky” (quoted in Ruth L. Benjamin, op. cit., p. 46). These skies inspired a new generation of painters, chief among them Claude Monet, to whom Boudin became a close friend and mentor. After observing Boudin paint for the first time, Monet declared: “Suddenly it was as if a veil had been torn from my eyes. I understood what painting could be. Boudin’s absorption in his work, and his independence, were enough to decide the entire future and development of my painting” (quoted in Peter C. Sutton, Boudin: Impressionist Marine Paintings (exhibition catalogue), Peabody Museum of Salem, Massachusetts, 1991, p. 54).

Depicting the port of Fécamp, in Seine-Maritime in Upper Normandy, the present work is a stunning and graceful testament to Boudin’s favorite subject and to his mature style. Following the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, there was a struggle to understand and define the new national identity within France, and this struggle very much informed Boudin’s artistic pursuits. The country had lost the territories of Alsace and parts of Lorraine to the German Empire, significantly altering the country’s borders, topography and culture, and at this time a universal education system inclusive of French geography was established, forcing the citizenry to grapple with the essential question of what it meant to be French. Landscape painting within France was elevated to a status of even greater importance, and indeed the many seascapes and harbor scenes painted by Boudin in the final decades of the nineteenth century may be viewed as an exploration of this concern. Depicting the delineation between land and sea, coastal imagery was of great import not only for what it allowed Boudin to achieve aesthetically, in exploring and rendering myriad and evolving atmospheric conditions, but also as a visual representation of France’s geographical boundaries at a time when so many of its people felt themselves unmoored.

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