Lot 109
  • 109

EUGÈNE BOUDIN | Venise, Il Campanile, Le Palais ducal

600,000 - 800,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Eugène Boudin
  • Venise, Il Campanile, Le Palais ducal
  • Signed E. Boudin, dated 95. and inscribed Venise (lower right); inscribed Venise (lower left)
  • Oil on canvas
  • 19 7/8 by 29 1/4 in.
  • 50.5 by 74.3 cm
  • Painted in Venice in 1895.


Durand-Ruel, Paris
Dr. Charles Abadie, Paris (and sold: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, April 17, 1913, lot 1)
Graat Collection, Paris (acquired at the above sale)
Baron Robert de Rothschild, Paris
Seized from the above by the Geheime Feldpolizei, Gruppe 540, in Paris between July and October 1940 and removed to the German Embassy at 82 rue de Lille, Paris
Restituted to Baron Maurice de Rothschild, October 17, 1947
Andre Weil, Paris (likely acquired from the above)
Rosenberg & Stiebel, New York (acquired from the above on November 6, 1956)
Galerie André Weil, Paris
Mrs. Margaret Thompson Biddle, New York & Paris (acquired from the above in 1956)
Private Collection, Canada (acquired from the above in 1956)
Thence by descent


Montreal, Museum of Fine Arts (on loan)
Fredericton, New Brunswick, Hosmer Pillow Vaughan Gallery, 1969-71 (on loan)
Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario, 1982 (on loan)


Robert Schmit, Eugène Boudin 1824-1898, vol. III, Paris, 1973, no. 3398, illustrated p. 300

Catalogue Note

Venise, Il Campanile, Le Palais ducal is one of the seventy-five paintings and sketches Boudin produced during a two-month stay in Venice in 1895. The artist had visited on three occasions between 1892-94, but it was not until his return in 1895 that he devoted himself seriously to the challenge of painting the famous city. Venice felt northern to Boudin, and he was uncomfortable with artists such as Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Paul Signac rendering the city’s waterways, bridges and monuments in scintillating, golden hues (see fig. 1). Boudin wrote to his dealer Durand-Ruel in June 1895 that the city is "somewhat disguised by the artists who usually paint Venice, who have disfigured it by turning it into a city heated by the brightest and hottest sun. On the contrary, Venice, like all luminous cities, has a grey hue, the atmosphere is mild and misty and the sky arrays itself with clouds, just like the sky of our Norman and Dutch regions” (quoted in Eugène Boudin (exhibition catalogue), Musée Jacquemart-André, Paris, 2013, p. 210).

The characteristically low horizon allows Boudin to paint an animated cloudscape which vies for dominance within the composition. The lively brushwork deftly conveys the movement of the gondolas, while its overcast skies evoke the familiar scenes of Normandy. The work alludes to some of the artist’s previous compositions of northern port cities such as Camaret, Trouville and Antwerp, yet in the present work clusters of gondola riders take the place of the fashionable groups of men and women populating the beaches of Boudin’s earlier canvases.

Venise, Il Campanile, Le Palais ducal boasts distinguished provenance, having been in the collection of Mrs. Margaret Thompson Biddle. Mrs. Biddle was an American heiress who relocated to Paris after World War II and became a well-known society figure. Her memorable dinner parties hosted politicians, socialites and intellectuals who admired her vast collection of works by Renoir, Constable and Gauguin, among others.