image: Eugène Boudin at the National Gallery of Art Introduction Eugène Boudin Travel and Leisure Plein-Air Painting Exhibition Information

image: Beach Scene at Trouville, 1863

Introduction

Eugène Boudin at the National Gallery of Art celebrates the centenary of Mellon's birth with an exhibition of one of his favorite French artists. Mellon's substantial gift of paintings, watercolors, and drawings by Eugène Boudin (1824 – 1898), supplemented by works given to the Gallery by his sister Ailsa Mellon Bruce and other benefactors, provides a nearly comprehensive picture of the artist. While Boudin was clearly interested in depicting the realities of his era, his great theme was the fleeting play of light on water and clouds. His ability to capture momentary sensation in works of timeless beauty made Boudin a natural addition to the collection of Paul Mellon, who wrote: "It seems to me that art makes one feel the essence of something, turning the ordinary, everyday object or scene into a universal one. Like poetry for Wordsworth, it is 'emotion recollected in tranquility.'"

image: Photograph of Paul Mellon

image: Paul Mellon

During his long life, collector Paul Mellon (1907 – 1999) donated more than one thousand works of art to the National Gallery. He also supported the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, among other art museums, and founded the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut. His tremendous generosity was matched by both his refined taste and passion for collecting.

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