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Eugène Boudin, Beach Scene, Trouville

Key facts
Full title Beach Scene, Trouville
Artist Eugène Boudin
Artist dates 1824 - 1898
Date made about 1860-70
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 21.6 × 45.8 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Miss Judith E. Wilson, 1960
Inventory number NG6309
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Beach Scene, Trouville
Eugène Boudin

This small panel records a bright but cloudy day as a group of well-dressed visitors gather around a flagpole on the sandy beach at Trouville on the Normandy coast. While we cannot see their faces, their poses and gestures suggest animated conversation. Boudin’s free and spontaneous handling of the paint creates a sense of atmospheric freshness.

The misty blue of the sky and the brown tones of the sand are enlivened with touches of colour in the costumes: white stands out in the dress in the centre, and bright red and blue highlights are scattered among the figures to each side. The seated figures to the left suggest comparison with Monet’s The Beach at Trouville, also in the National Gallery’s collection. That picture was painted while Monet was working alongside Boudin in the summer of 1870, and may show Boudin’s wife seated beside Madame Monet. Boudin’s painting and his Beach Scene, Trouville of 1870–74, also in the National Gallery, belonged to Monet.

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