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.'"