from April 16 to September 26, 2016
"I already want to be in front of the sea, wielding my paintbrush: it is astounding how much I have progressed and what a thirst I have for light!"
Although Boudin's oeuvre features several recurring themes, these were essentially mere starting-points for his study of light, which constantly took him in new directions. From his earliest studies of the banks of the Seine, produced in the early 1850s, to the last studies he painted in Brittany and Normandy in 1897, via beach scenes depicting the high society of the Second Empire, Boudin set out to capture fleeting metamorphoses of "the envelope", which he did not see as an abstraction to be recreated in the confines of the studio. He sought to be in direct contact with it, preferring to paint outdoors.
Eugène BOUDIN (1824-1898), Low Tide at Étaples, 1886, oil on canvas, 79 x 109 cm. © Musée des Beaux-Arts - Mairie de Bordeaux / L. Gauthier, F. Deval
In Rotterdam, Venice and Bordeaux, on the Channel coast or in Rembrandt-like Breton interiors, he set out to capture the specific nature of the constantly changing light that was never the same twice.