EUGÈNE BOUDINCrinolines sur la plage
- Studio of Eugène Boudin
- Crinolines sur la plage
- signed E. Boudin and dated 66. (lower right)
- oil on panel
Leigh B. Block, Chicago
Marlborough Fine Art, London
Viviane Bregman Ltd., New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1985
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 red, blue and yellow 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.
In Crinolines sur la plage the artist exhibits his exceptional qualities as an observer of both society and nature. Vivien Hamilton wrote: ‘Although Boudin preferred painting groups of people to painting individuals, he succeeded in capturing the characteristic gestures, movements and costumes of the individual figures with astonishing accuracy. The artistic challenge presented by the subject was not only the representation of movement, colour and light but also the successful incorporation of the human figure into the landscape. At their best, the beach scenes vibrate with subtle nuances of light, colour, shade and movement, tiny and hasty specks of pure colour simultaneously dramatizing the surface and bringing the whole into harmony’ (V. Hamilton, Boudin at Trouville, London, 1992, p. 63).