Fashionable Figures on the Beach
Eugène Louis Boudin (French, 1824–1898)
35.5 x 57.5 cm (14 x 22 5/8 in.)
Medium or Technique
Oil on panel
Polly B. and Richard D. Hill Gallery (Gallery 253)
The advent of train travel in the 1850s brought seaside holidays within reach for middle-class Parisians, who flocked to new resort towns on the Normandy coast. Boudin began painting scenes of fashionable urban beach-goers in 1862 and found a steady market for luminous, light-hearted pictures like this one. Committed to painting outdoors—en plein air—rather than in a traditional studio, Boudin encouraged his young friend and pupil Claude Monet to work outside—from nature, in nature.
Lower right: E. Boudin. 65
Galerie Cadart et Luquet, Paris. Galerie Georges Petit, Paris; by 1932, probably sold by Georges Petit to Francisco Llobet (d. 1959), Paris and Buenos Aires [see note 1]; by inheritance from Llobet to his daughter, Mme. Inès Llobet de Gowland; sold by Mme. de Gowland to Fritz and Peter Nathan, Zurich, and Jacques Dubourg, Paris [see note 2]; 1962, sold by the Nathans and Dubourg to Mr. and Mrs. John J. Wilson, Boston; 1974, gift of Mr. and Mrs. John J. Wilson to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 9, 1974) NOTES:  According to a letter from Peter Nathan to John Wilson (June 22, 1962), Dr. Llobet acquired the painting from the Galerie Georges Petit between 1920 and 1925. This, however, has not been substantiated and the date of its purchase is uncertain. However, it was in Llobet's possession by 1932, when he exhibited it in Buenos Aires. See Asociación Amigos del Arte, Exposición de Pintores Impresionistas: Colección F. Llobet (Buenos Aires, 1932), cat. no. 5, ill. (n.p.).  According to a letter from Peter Nathan to Perry T. Rathbone of the MFA (December 19, 1962).
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John J. Wilson