I said I would write more about Eugène Boudin Monet’s older friend and mentor. Monet was born in 1824 in Honfleur. As a young child he worked on his dads steamboat that ran between Honfleur and Le Havre, untill he fell off the ship and almost drowned when he was just 10. His mom than decided to send him to school. They moved to Le Havre in 1835. His father gave up working as a sailor and started a stationary store where Boudin came in contact with painters like Jean-Baptiste Isabey (1767-1855), Constant Troyon (1810-1865) Jean-Francois Millet (1814-1875) and Dutch landscapist Johan Jongkind (1819-1891). Especially Millet and Jongkind encouraged Boudin to become a full-time painter. Millet introduced him to en plein air painting. In 1850 he got a scholarship to study art in Paris but he often traveled back to le Havre to paint because he felt caged in Paris. He was a marine artist after all. In 1857/1858 he met Monet who was just turning 18. Despite the age difference of 16 years they became good friends and Boudin introduced Monet in en plein air painting. He also taught him how to paint skies. Boudin was very famous for his skies which often were the interest point of his paintings. Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot even nicknamed him “king of skies”. He also made Monet aware of difference colors and light something that would stuck with him through life.
One of his first good paintings of Le Havre is of outer harbor (L’Avant-Port) of Le Havre’s in 1850:
He painted the same outer harbor in the 1860, 1880’s and 1890’s. It’s fun to see how he painted the same place in more then 40 years.