Lot 151
  • 151

EUGÈNE BOUDIN | Anvers, bateaux sur l'Escaut

300,000 - 400,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Studio of Eugène Boudin
  • Anvers, bateaux sur l'Escaut
  • Signed E. Boudin., dated 72. and inscribed Anvers. (lower right)
  • Oil on canvas


Galerie Montignac, Paris
Private Collection, Paris
Galerie Matignon Saint-Honoré, Paris
Acquired from the above on February 16, 2007

Catalogue Note

Anvers, bateaux sur l'Escaut is an extraordinary example of Boudin’s free brushwork and uninhibited observation of contemporary life. The low horizon line in the present work allows for the expansive, overcast sky to rise above the ships, enabling Boudin to demonstrate his masterful technique for conveying the atmospheric effects of man interacting with nature. As Tristan Klingsor observes, “Where many painters only found a pretext for large surfaces of blue, opaque and dirty, Eugène Boudin astonishes us by a variety and an incomparable accuracy: for him each cloud has a physiognomy...to give us the impression of immensity and to hold our attention, allured by the innovation of a spectacle which every day we have under our eyes and which we had never seen” ("Un Précurseur de l'Impressionnisme: Eugène Boudin," in La Nouvelle Revue, vol. 8, Paris, 1891, p. 262).

Painted in 1872, the present work captures one of the world’s great port cities, Antwerp. Boudin’s delicate brushwork was praised by his peers for its ability to encapsulate the ever-changing skies of the maritime city. He received effusive accolades from other artists, 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, Eugène Boudin, New York, 1937, 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 Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts, 1991, p. 54).

To be included in the supplement to the Boudin catalogue raisonné being prepared by Manuel Schmit.