Figures on the Beach

Eugène Louis Boudin (French, 1824–1898)


36.5 x 59.1 cm (14 3/8 x 23 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas

Not On View





Bathers wade at low tide on a Normandy beach—their parasols and hitched skirts conjured with a few deft dots of paint. Diagonal strokes at the horizon line indicate wind and rain—a storm is fast approaching. Boudin’s treatment of mercurial light and weather effects and the bold spontaneity of pictures like this one provided a source of inspiration for Claude Monet, a fellow native of Honfleur.


Signed and dated lower left: E. Boudin. 9[3?]


1952, anonymous collection, France; December 2-3, 1952, "La Princesse de X..." and others sale, Paris, Galerie Charpentier, lot 33. Allard et Noël, Paris [see note 1]. By 1975, Antique Porcelain Company, New York (stock no. 11638); October 10, 1975, sold by the Antique Porcelain Company to William Appleton Coolidge (b. 1901 - d. 1992), Topsfield and Cambridge, MA; 1993, bequest of William Appleton Coolidge to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 27, 1993)

[1] According to Robert Schmit, "Eugène Boudin, 1824 - 1898" (Paris, 1973), vol. 2, p. 390, cat. no. 2338. Whether the gallery purchased the painting at the 1952 sale has not been determined.

Credit Line

Bequest of William A. Coolidge