Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Coastal Treasures Brought to North

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Coastal Treasures Brought to North

Article excerpt

As part of its plan to double visitor numbers over the next few years, the Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle is putting on a series of major international exhibitions.

Boudin, Monet and the Sea Painters of Normandy is one of the first. It will be followed later this year by Toulouse-Lautrec and the Art of the Poster, and coming years will see exhibitions on Turner, Rodin, Canaletto, Cotman and more.

All the exhibitions take as their starting point the Bowes' own collection. As one of the great treasure houses of the country, this gives almost endless scope, especially if it is possible to borrow important paintings from other collections.

For Boudin and Monet, the list of important loans is hugely impressive.

The Metropolitan Museum in New York has lent Monet's magnificent The Manneport, nine works have come from the National Gallery and there are other paintings from the Tate, the Burrell Collection, the Royal Collection, the National Gallery of Scotland and galleries in France.

EugAne Boudin (1824-98) was born in the Normandy port of Honfleur so was brought up surrounded by the scenes he was later to depict. In his early years he worked alongside Corot, who was one of the pioneers of painting in the open air rather than working up sketches back in the studio. Corot much admired the younger artist, praising him as "the king of the skies".

Boudin tried to make his living from the tourists who were drawn to the Normandy coast both for its beauty and for the supposed therapeutic qualities of the sea air.

Many of his works depict the contemporary fashions. The Beach At Trouville ( the Empress Eugenie, of 1863, shows us Napoleon III's wife, a shimmer of white, scurrying along the beach surrounded by brightly dressed ladies with parasols or canes.

There are many of these small, almost intimate works here which capture the effects of breeze, sun and waves. …

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