NPR’s Morning Edition visits Honfleur and the Eugene Boudin museum in the artist’s hometown:[audio:http://www.artmarketmonitor.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Morning-Edition-on-Boudin.mp3|titles=Morning Edition on Boudin]
Eugene Boudin had a grand time painting all this beach activity. So did others — if the British, then the French upperclasses were going to hit the beaches, artists would go, too, to paint their portraits, do seascapes and make some money under the sunny-cloudy Norman skies. Boudin urged his young friend Claude Monet to join them at seaside. Monet was 15 years younger and making a reputation in Paris, drawing caricatures in charcoal.
Boudin thought Monet could do more.
“He said, ‘Come on, Claude — your caricatures are fun, but it’s not real art,’ ” says Aussenac. “‘I mean art; I mean painting, Claude, painting!‘ ”
Boudin kept nagging his young friend. Monet had grown up in Le Havre, and Boudin wanted to get him back to Normandy. “‘Come over,'” he urged him, by Aussenac’s account. “‘I want to show you Honfleur; I want you to see the light.’ ”
There was that amazing light — the rich blue skies, dotted with scudding, big-bellied clouds that shifted the sunlight, making fields and rocks broody, then brilliant, in a flash. Monet capitulated, came to Honfleur, and he and Boudin painted side by side, outside, using portable easels and paint in tubes.
“And suddenly, suddenly, Claude Monet just understood what his friend had been telling him about,” says Aussenac. “He understood. He said afterward that it was just like a curtain that [had opened] in front of his eyes. He understood what his life was about, and what painting was about.”
Eugene Boudin: The Man Who Inspired Monet (NPR/Morning Edition)