Born in 1824, Eugene Boudin moved with his family in 1835 to Le Havre, where his father established a frame shop that exhibited the paintings of local artists such as Constant Troyon, J.B. Millet, J.B. Isabey, and Thomas Couture. Encouraged by his fellow artists to pursue a career as a painter, Boudin travelled in 1846 first to Paris and then through Flanders, winning a scholarship to study art. He made regular trips to Normandy and Brittany and by 1857, became friendly with the Dutch painter Jongkind who was already working with the young Claude Monet, then 18 years old. Jongkind encouraged Boudin to work “en pleine air” and Monet spent several months that same year working in Boudin’s studio. Both artists exhibited in the first Impressionist Exhibition in Paris in 1874 and would remain lifelong friends.
Charles Baudelaire was the first to note, in 1859, that Eugène Boudin (1824–1898) had in his atelier “hundreds of pastel studies improvised before the sea and the sky”, describing them as “the prodigious magic of air and water.” Courbet as well, visited the younger artist and noted his ability to portray cloudscapes with delicacy and emotion.