Still Life with Rabbit
Department of Art after 1800
The Normandy-born painter Eugène Boudin played a key role in the emergence of impressionism. He based his art on plein-air painting and the direct observation of nature, and this, combined with his dynamic brush-handling, made him one of the impressionists’ key sources of inspiration. Despite Boudin’s own artistic achievements, he was long referred to mostly as Claude Monet’s teacher. After their first meeting in 1856, Monet was deeply influenced by Boudin’s advice and ideas, and even his favourite motifs. In the 1860s and 1870s, Monet, like Boudin, frequently painted the crowds on the popular beaches of Normandy. Boudin occasionally sought out the wilder coastal areas of Brittany. In the early 1870s, he painted a number of paintings in and around Portrieux, recording the boats in the harbour and the seaside cliffs. In this picture we are given a glimpse of everyday life in the village. This work is a classic example of Boudin’s dynamic style, simultaneously graceful and precise. The sensitivity with which he captured the delicate clouds in the sky is illustrative of why Camille Corot called Boudin the “king of the skies”.
This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.