Eugène Boudin's Influence on Monet

Boudin was born in Honfleur, Normandy. While working in Le Havre, he met artists in the area and began painting. By the time he was 22, he was painting full time, spending time in Paris, Normandy, and Flanders.

Claude Monet grew up in Le Havre, and there he met Boudin. The older Boudin noticed Monet’s talent in caricatures, but considered caricatures to be a waste of such talent. Boudin was urging Monet to visit Normandy with him to paint, telling him “I want you to see the light.”

He spent a while trying to convince Monet to study with him, something Monet finally and grudgingly agreed to. Monet found that he enjoyed doing the landscapes Boudin showed him.

By the time Boudin met Monet (1857) he had already met Johan Jongkind who advised him to paint his seascapes en plein air. So, he told Monet the same thing. Often they would do seascapes and sit outdoors for hours painting the port at Le Havre.

Perhaps what Monet really took away from Boudin, though, (besides the en plein air painting) was the method by which Boudin blended the sky and often focused on it, making the sky the point of interest in many of his paintings. Similar work can be found in Monet’s paintings.

Boudin showed in the first Impressionist showing in 1874, but was never really part of the group.

Some examples of the similarities in their work can be seen in The Meuse at Dordrecht by Boudin in 1882 and Monet's The Regatta at Saint-Adresse 1867.

Learn about Katsushika Hokusai's influence on Monet

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