Eugene Boudin was born in Deauville, Honfleur, Normandy. He grew up sailing on the Seine. His interest in art coincided with his father changing careers to become a frame maker. Boudin became an assistant in his father’s shop, and that experience gave him the opportunity to meet artists working in the area including Jean-François Millet, Thomas Couture and Constant Tryon. Couture was especially encouraged him to become a dedicated artist.
In 1850, when he was age 26, Eugene Boudin received a scholarship that allowed him to move to Paris. Meeting the Dutch painter, Johan Jongkind, regarded as a forerunner of the Impressionism of Claude Monet, Boudin was exposed to plein-air painting and encouraged by Jongkind to pursue it. He met other artists that influenced him, including Gustave Courbet and Charles Baudelaire, an influential critic who introduce Boudin to the public. Eugene Boudin had his debut at the Paris Salon, winning a third-place medal in 1881 and a Gold Medal in 1889 at the Exposition Universelle. Three years later he was made a knight of the Légion of Honor.
In 1874, Eugene Boudin joined Monet and other Impressionists in the first exhibition of works in that style. Towards the end of his life, he suffered ill health and knowing the end was near, returned to his hometown of Deauville to die within view of the water he loved so well.