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The French painter Eugène Boudin is regarded as one of the forerunners of the Impressionist movement. His fondness for painting from life and his fascination with studying the effects of light provided an example to follow for the young painter Claude Monet, to whom he was linked by a close friendship. He came into contact with the artists Théodule Ribot, Thomas Couture, Jean-François Millet, Constant Troyon and Eugène Isabey, who influenced his decision to devote himself fully to painting and to move to Paris in 1847. His initial period was chiefly influenced by seventeenth-century Dutch painting and the work of his contemporaries of the Barbizon School. In 1859 he met Gustave Courbet, showed his work for the first time at the Paris Salon, and was praised by Charles Baudelaire. During the 1860s Boudin produced many works featuring groups of summer holiday makers on the beaches of Trouville, which were very well received on the French art scene. In 1874 he took part in the first Impressionist exhibition on the boulevard des Capucines. Towards the end of his life, between 1892 and 1895, he made three trips to Venice in search of fresh inspiration. He was awarded the gold medal of the Exposition Universelle in 1895, three years before his death.
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