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Beach at Trouville
Eugène Boudin
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Boudin is best remembered today for his paintings of crowds of affluent holidaymakers on the beaches of Trouville and Deauville, painted in the 1860s. In this freely painted oil sketch, however, the mood is bleak rather than festive. Dark clouds have gathered in the sky and a torrential downpour has started. In place of the fashionably dressed figures in the earlier beach scenes a few sketchily painted children play in the sand watched over by a man in grey.

Boudin had a lifelong obsession with fleeting weather effects. The poet and art critic Charles Baudelaire remarked that just by looking at his pastel studies of skies over the Le Havre estuary it would have been possible to guess the time of day, season and wind direction. This oil sketch, perhaps painted on the spot, seems to record a specific moment. The date – 7 April – is noted in the bottom right-hand corner.

Key facts
Artist Eugène Boudin
Artist dates 1824 - 1898
Full title Beach at Trouville
Date made probably 1890s
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 35.6 x 58.1 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Presented by T.W. Bacon through the Art Fund, 1910
Inventory number NG2758
Location in Gallery Gallery A: Paintings after 1600
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