Tempête en approche (1864)

Boudin, Eugène (1824-1898)

Tempête en approche (Approaching Storm)
Oil on cradled panel, 36.3 × 57.9 cm
Art Institute of ChicagoChicago

This painting by Eugène Boudin, a Norman painter and Claude Monet’s teacher, exemplifies the artist’s signature style and subject matter in the 1860s. Monet would later follow Boudin’s practice of painting in the open air, the technique that gave this image of a beach for middle-class vacationers its vivid spontaneity and atmospheric light. This practice would be particularly important for Monet and his contemporaries, who came to be known as the Impressionists.

Eugène-Louis Boudin painted many beach scenes at the fashionable tourist spots of Trouville and Deauville in Normandy. In them we see the life of the Paris boulevards translated to the seashore. Bathing attire being still relatively rare, people wore the same clothes at the beach as they did in the city and made the same round of promenades, visits, and dinners. The huts on wheels are portable changing machines that were pulled into the water so that bathers could change without fear of exposure. (AIC)