Eugène Boudin, known for his beach scenes and depictions of luminous skies, was one of the earliest French landscape painters to paint Plein-air paintings. Most of his works are small-scaled, and he was very prolific that he created over 4,000 paintings during his lifetime. The majority of his works are collected in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Le Havre.
On July 12, 1824, Boudin was born in Honfleur. His father was a harbor pilot, and he started helping his father as a cabin boy when he was ten years old. His family moved to Le Havre, and his father opened a stationery shop. In 1844, Boudin opened his own stationery shop with a man named Acher. He met many artists there, such as Constant Troyon, Jean-François Millet, Jean-Baptiste Isabey, and Thomas Couture. Encouraged by these artists, Boudin decided to follow an artistic career and sold his share of the business to become a full-time artist. He studied briefly in Paris and copied many works by great masters in the Louvre. In 1849, Boudin was recruited by the sculptor Louis Rochet on a journey that let him visit the museums in Belgium and study works from the Dutch masters. He then met the Dutch painter Johan Jongkind and was advised by Jongkind to paint Plein-air paintings. In 1858, when Boudin was 34 years old, he met Monet, who was only 18 years old and encouraged Monet to paint landscaped paintings. In 1874, He exhibited his works in the first Impressionist exhibition. Boudin received the Legion of Honor when he was 68 years old.
Boudin suffered ill health in his late years and regularly traveled in Venice. Knowing his life was near the end, he returned to his hometown at Deauville and died on August 8, 1898. He was buried in the Saint-Vincent Cemetery in Montmartre, Paris.