Eugène Louis Boudin sketched in oil and watercolour directly from nature but this more finished painting would have been produced in the studio. It was Boudin's ambition, and his achievement, to retain all the spontaneous freshness of direct observation in the finished work. He is the painter of sea breezes, scudding skies and the grey, choppy sea of the Normandy coast. Boudin was born near the harbour at Le Havre and this area was the inspiration for most of his modest but atmospheric art.He had the gift of communicating his enthusiasm for working direct from nature to other artists. He painted with Gustave Courbet, James Abbott McNeill Whistler and the young Claude Monet and his influence on the latter was crucial. After he had persuaded the seventeen-year-old to work with him in the summer of 1858 Monet declared: 'My eyes were finally opened and I really undestood nature; I learned at the same time to love it'.