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Eugène Boudin

A Squall

Artist

Eugène Boudin
Honfleur 1824 – Deauville 1898

Title

A Squall

Date

1885

Materials

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

65.2 x 90.3 cm

Credits

Dr. Francis J. Shepherd Bequest, inv. 1929.483

Collection

Western Art

Boudin delivered a series of paintings to the art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel for an exhibition held at his gallery in 1889. The list of works appears in the artist’s record books; under Number 6, Boudin notes “Squall, a study for the Salon of 1886.” That refers to this preparatory sketch, dated 1885, for the painting shown at the salon, which was acquired by Durand-Ruel and is now in the collection of the Musée de Morlaix in France. In this work, a storm with sudden, violent winds illustrates man’s battle against the forces of nature. Boudin reveals his sense of harmony and his skill in depicting a subject that is, all in all, rather banal. Through a multitude of clear and lively brushstroke, he handles the light and scenic effects that made his reputation. The frothy crests of the waves echo the triangular sails in the foreground, while the few carefully arranged patches of colour – the red of the flag, the blue of the boat stem, and the white of the seagulls – enliven the muted tones of grey, blue and green. We can see the lesson he gave to the Impressionists, among them Monet, who considered Boudin his teacher.

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