Eugène Louis Boudin (French, 1824–1898), one of the first artists to paint en plein air, was best known for his marine scenes. Born in Honfleur, France to a harbor pilot and his wife, Boudin became involved in art while working at an art supply shop in Le Havre. It was during this brief employment that Jean-Francois Millet bought one of his paintings, and proceeded to give the artist his only formal training. After his first exhibition in Le Havre in 1852, the town awarded Boudin a three-year scholarship in Paris.

While in Paris, he met Gustave Courbet who helped gain him attention, eventually leading to a debut at the 1859 Paris Salon. Exposure to the Paris art world allowed Boudin to make other important acquaintances. Boudin met a young Claude Monet, who would become a lifelong friend. He is said to have greatly influenced Monet’s work after persuading him to take up landscape painting, and the two exhibited together at the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874. The artist traveled extensively in Belgium and the Netherlands, and also made many trips to Venice, Italy. Boudin received a medal at the Paris Salon of 1881, and in 1892, his talent was acknowledged when he was made a knight of the Légion d’honneur. He died in Deauville in 1898, not far from the channel waters he portrayed so vibrantly.