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Between and Mortarboard

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Fish Market, Honfleur (Marché aux poissons)

Accession Number

Fish Market, Honfleur (Marché aux poissons)

Eugène Boudin

Artist Nationality
French (culture or style)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
oil on paper on panel

9 in x 12 1/4 in (22.86 cm x 31.12 cm);15 in x 18 in x 1 3/4 in (38.1 cm x 45.72 cm x 4.45 cm)

Credit Line
Bequest of Margaret Watson Parker

Label copy
March 28 2009
Boudin, who lived near Honfleur in the port city of Le Havre, spent much of his career painting along the Normandy and Brittany coasts of France, along with a number of other painters and photographers who came to this famously picturesque region to depict its scenes and views. Boudin’s most famous student, the Impressionist painter Claude Monet, also depicted many of the sites along its coast. Although Boudin spent some time in Paris and exhibited in the official Salon exhibitions in the capital, his work is deeply rooted in his native landscape of Normandy.
This small painting—a sketch, really— executed on paper, is a fine example of Boudin’s quick notational style. The details of the slate-roofed houses and other particulars of the town are economically and rapidly conveyed through his loose brushwork. The brown tones of the underpainting lend warmth to the scene, and the group of women with their regional starched white headdresses provides a foil for the woman in a red hooded cape. Boudin was a frequent visitor to this charming fishing town across the Seine estuary, and he depicted this market several times, usually with the same freshness and speed.

Subject matter
Boudin, who lived in the nearby port city of Le Havre, spent a lot of time in the picturesque fishing town of Honfleur. This depiction of the local fish market was probably painted "plein air" directly in front of the motif, and may be a sketch, although a finished painting of this composition is unknown. Boudin's work concentrated on the costal regions of Normandy and Brittany. He was an important early influence on Claude Monet, who also painted extensively in Honfleur.

Physical Description
A group of figures stand in a market place flanked by brown and tan buildings under a freely-painted sky. Most of these figures are women in the high linen headdresses characteristic of the region. At center is a woman with a red jacket.

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3 Related Resources

Food Cultures
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)
Second Grade Tour: Fishing Focus My Community, My World
(Part of: Visit UMMA: Curricular Tour Descriptions for Teachers)

& Author Notes

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