Thursday, July 1, 2010

Eugene Boudin, Monet's first teacher

I think I may have posted something about this fine man and artist here before, but a Twitter friend directed me to a NPR site with this photo and I wanted to share it. If I might quote from the story:

Boudin didn't start out to be a painter. His father ran a ferryboat between Honfleur and Le Havre, the big English Channel port, and Boudin worked on the boat as a child. "And one day he fell overboard and was caught by one seaman," says Bridget Mueller, who guides visitors around Normandy. "Otherwise he would have drowned — so his mother said, 'You're not going on this ship again.' "

Instead, young Eugene went to school. A teacher spotted artistic talent, and from then on, Boudin went to sea via the canvases he painted. Mueller says there's hidden proof of the artist's seamanship: a notation on the back of every painting, recording the weather and the winds on the day it was made.

It was Boudin who challenged the 17-year-old arrogant Claude Monet to try landscape painting and the rest is history. Claude never looked back. Even in his old age, he referred to Boudin as "my master." The whole story can be found at

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    Arrived here by luck, surfing on internet...thought of the differences between american and french way of raising children...If Boudin's mother had been american, she would probably have encouraged her son to go on this boat again :-) For once, our education had good effect ;-)
    Seems has strange to read you here (I come from Normandy, studied in Le Havre, was raised in Rouen and often go to Giverny), as it was to fall on Monet's Rouen's cathedral in NY's Met when I was 12...
    Take good care...