Eugène Boudin 1824 -1898
Collections record: 2380
Pastel on buff paper 177 x 290 mm
Bequeathed by Frank Hindley Smith, 1939 no.2380
© The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
Boudin was widely celebrated among his contemporaries for his ability to paint the sky. Corot nicknamed him the ‘King of the Skies’, while in 1859 the poet Charles Baudelaire rhapsodically described the sky studies Boudin exhibited at the official Salon as ‘prodigious spells of air and water’.
The date of this marvellously intense study is uncertain. Boudin became interested in capturing the effect of sunsets around 1854, and it is likely that it was painted between then and the end of the decade. As with his paintings, Boudin came to have very clear ideas of how his pastels should be framed, believing that his skies were best enhanced by a ‘Whistler-style’ frame.