Le Havre – Francois I tower

Hi everyone! It’s been a while now since i posted, because I was so busy researching. I posted mainly about different places Boudin painted in Le Havre but this place was a bit different. This was a tower called the Francis I tower. Upon until now I had never heard of Francis I, but it turned out he’s a pretty interesting guy so I will definitely write more about him later.

Francis I was the king that founded Le Havre in 1517. The reason he founded Le Havre and his harbor was both economical and strategic: he wanted to have more international trade and he wanted to protect the Seine Basin from the English. Apart from the harbor he build a big tower to defend the harbor. Later he erected a citadel and fortifications around the harbor and the kings after him would build even greater defenses for the city.

Boudin wasn’t the only talented painter working in Le Havre. Famous artist William Turner also visited Le Havre and painted there. These paintings he painted both in 1832.

Joseph Mallord William Turner, ‘Le Havre: Tour de François Ier’ c.1832

Joseph Mallord William Turner, ‘Le Havre: Tour de François Ier’ c.1832

Le Havre, The Quayside close to the Tour de Francois Ier, 1832. Joseph Mallord William Turner

Le Havre, The Quayside close to the Tour de Francois Ier, 1832. Joseph Mallord William Turner

Le Havre, the Francois I Tower - Eugène Boudin - 1852

Le Havre, the Francois I Tower – Eugène Boudin – 1852

Le Havre, the Town Hotel and the Francois I Tower - Eugene Boudin 1859

Le Havre, the Town Hotel and the Francois I Tower – Eugene Boudin 1859

Boudin painted these 2  paintings in the 1850’s. During the 17th 18th and 19th century the city  had grown. It had attracted industry and had become an important port so that is probably why both painted smoke in the painting even though the rest of their paintings differ alot. William Turners paintings seem much lighter. Boudin’s are more gloomy. Im not sure if Boudin and Turner have met but he must have been aware of his work at least later, because Turner influenced Monet a great deal when they met during Monet’s stay in London in 1870-1871.

bonsoir, mon amis! Hilde

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