Key Ideas about this Work of Art
- Eugène Boudin was one of the first French landscape painters to paint en plein air (French for “outdoors”).
- This painting features two sailboards leaving a port. Their sails are partially raised, and the reflections of the boats can be seen on the surface of the water.
- Boudin captured the sunlight, the ripples of water in the still bay, and the weather conditions on a particular afternoon. His painting depicts a specific moment in time.
- Boudin encouraged fellow artist Claude Monet to paint outdoors. They were interested in painting similar subjects.
- When this painting was created, sailing was essential to trade, long-distance travel, and exploration. Seaports and ships were important for the economy and were often sources of national pride.
Artist Eugène Boudin was born near the coast in Normandy, a region of northern France. He was one of the first French landscape painters to en plein air (outdoors). Most artists at the time painted landscapes in their studios based on sketches they made outdoors. Boudin later encouraged the young Claude Monet to paint his landscapes outdoors. Both artists painted coastal landscapes (especially in Normandy) in different kinds of weather. They focused on depicting sunlight, the movement of water, and reflections on water.
Boudin’s earlier paintings were featured in the first impressionist art exhibition. It was held in Paris in 1874. The artist’s later works, such as this one, have key characteristics of impressionist paintings. These include scenes that look fuzzy and roughly painted, bright colors, and short, quick brush strokes.
tags: weather, boats, clouds, environment, force, observation, perception
Resources for Teachers:
- Explore a lesson plan to integrate Boudin’s work with a discussion about the atmosphere and cloud formation.
- Read the artist’s biography.
- Read an essay about the Barbizon school, the art movement to which Boudin belonged.
Resources for Students: