Boudin’s numerous beach scenes form a direct link between the careful representations of Naturalism of the early 19th century and the light and fluid brushwork of late 19th century Impressionism.
His exposure to the world of art began early and included apprenticing with a printer and working in an art supply store. At the store, Boudin drew in his spare time and benefitted from the advice and guidance offered by patrons. He began formally exhibiting in the late 1850's and traveled extensively through Holland, Belgium, and Venice, each new site offering their waterways and harbors for interpretation.
Older than most of his artistic peers, Boudin was viewed by many as a mentor. Born in the same region as Claude Monet, the two had a long-term artistic bond and Boudin is credited with helping the younger Monet discover his true artistic path. In fact, it was Boudin that encouraged Monet to try the plein-air painting for which Monet became famous. Influence seldom flowing one-way, by the 1870's, the blurred patches of color and light palette of Impressionism began to appear in Boudin's paintings.
As likely to paint high society waterfront frivolity as fishermen or washerwomen, Boudin depicted grace and beauty in all his works.