Lot 9
  • 9

EUGÈNE BOUDIN | Crinolines sur la plage

600,000 - 900,000 GBP
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  • Studio of Eugène Boudin
  • Crinolines sur la plage
  • signed E. Boudin and dated 66. (lower right) 
  • oil on panel
  • 35.5 by 55.6cm.
  • 14 by 21 7/8 in.
  • Painted in 1866.


Guillaumin, Biarritz Leigh B. Block, Chicago

Marlborough Fine Art, London

Viviane Bregman Ltd., New York

Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1985


Robert Schmit, Eugène Boudin, Paris, 1973, vol. I, no. 394, illustrated p. 146

Catalogue Note

Crinolines sur la plage is a beautiful early example of Boudin’s favourite subject, that of fashionably dressed figures on a beach. Having settled in Paris after his marriage in 1863, throughout the 1860s and 1870s Boudin travelled every summer to the coast of Normandy, usually staying at the neighbouring resorts of Trouville and Dauville, where he 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 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).