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 Boudin, Eugène Louis (French painter, 1824-1898) , Ships in a Harbour

Core Record

Title Ships in a Harbour
Collection Royal Cornwall Museum, Royal Institution of Cornwall, Truro
Artist Boudin, Eugène Louis (French painter, 1824-1898)
Date Earliest possibly about 1860
Date Latest possibly about 1862
Signed yes
Description The son of a mariner who became a cabin boy on his father's ship, Eugène Boudin maintained a lifelong interest in the sea. He painted many seascapes, his typical subjects being taken from the coasts of his native Normandy, as well as Brittany and Belgium. This small picture demonstrates his interest in the superlative marine paintings of seventeenth-century Holland, while the free technique reveals his affinity with his contemporaries of the Barbizon school of artists. It also typifies his interest in recording atmospheric skies, in a way that would anticipate French Impressionism.
Current Accession Number TRURI:1943.188
Inscription front ll 'Boudin'
Subject marine
Measurements 23.0 x 19.7 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on panel
Acquisition Details Given by Miss Millicent Wedmore 1943.
Provenance Acquired by Sir Frederick Wedmore possibly from Durand-Ruel, 1902[;]-21; by descent to Miss Millicent Wedmore, 1921[;].

Marks around the inscription, which is partly obscured by the frame, could include the painter's initial.

Label on reverse, ink: 'F Wedmore'; label on reverse, ink, possibly original title (undeciphered) and dimensions in cm: 'No. 4 ... [;]/ Boudin / 23 1/2 19 1/4'; label on reverse, printed: 2341; label on reverse, printed and completed in ink: 'ROYAL INSTITUTION OF CORNWALL / Cornwall County Museum & Art Gallery, Truro. / TITLE OF PICTURE §SHIPS IN A HARBOUR§ / ARTIST EUGENE BOUDIN DATE 1824-1898 / MEDIUM OIL ON PANEL SIZE 9 IN x 7 3/4 IN. / DONOR MISS M. WEDMORE. DATE 28 APRIL 1943. / ACCESSION NO./ 1943 CATALOGUE No. / FROM THE COLL. OR THE LATE SIR FRED.K WEDMORE.' Framer's label on reverse, printed, partly obscured: 'ALFRED J. MUCKLOW / PICTURE FRAME MAKER, &c. / 35, Cranbourn Street,...'.

In correspondence dated 24 April 1943, the donor, Millicent Wedmore, referred to two paintings by Boudin which were owned by her father, the distinguished art critic Sir Frederick Wedmore. Wedmore hung the paintings as pendants, although it is unlikely that they were created as a pair. One of these was certainly the present work, and the second was probably Harbour Scene (1873) which Millicent Wedmore bequeathed to Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery in 1965 (inv. K2924).

It is possible that Frederick Wedmore acquired the present work from the French dealership Durand-Ruel. A letter dated 21 September 1902 at Bristol 'refers to the Boudin vaguely as 1860 or 62'. It was thought that this was an erroneous reference to the Bristol picture, which is actually dated 1873. Instead, Durand-Ruel perhaps intended the present work. The letter also states that Durand-Ruel did not buy the painting directly from the artist. In fact, Boudin did not sign a dealership contract with Durand-Ruel until 1881.

Rights Owner Royal Cornwall Museum, Royal Institution of Cornwall, Truro
Author Dr Susan Steer



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