Steamboat Leaving Boulogne is an 1864 painting measuring 29 by 36 1/2 inches, or (73.6 by 92.6 cm). Eduard painted Steamboat Leaving Boulogne and others at a time when he was under heavy criticism and probably seeking consolation. He left Paris for the coastal city of Boulogne-sur-Mer, where he got inspiration and started painting marine sceneries like Steamboat Leaving Boulogne but didn’t finish it until he got back to Paris.
This is one of the earliest sea painting which depicts numerous wind powered and steam sailing boats cruising on the sea. In this painting probably influenced by Japanese prints shows sail boats as well as steam packet sails up in the channel stirring up the sea and belching huge plume of smoke. Manet’ painted a flat sea at fast and then added sail boats on top. The steam boat cruises by leaving the slower sailing boats behind down the channel. This painting was among many sea Eduard painting done to portray American civil war. Manet was also under pressure from his controversial painting and was seeking to address another topic. This painting was probably inspired by Japanese print painting whose black hulls, the sails were so impressively done they made a viewer sea sick.
Oil on canvas was the medium used on Steamboat Leaving Boulogne. Traditional oil paints used oil or charcoal. The painting used different thinned paints which were mixed with either linseed oil or other solvents. To make the boats to stand out, he used several layers of thicker paints so as to get the texture and appearance he desired. The painting is valiantly brushed, and the boats remain uniquely identifiable. Manet painted a host of still life marine paintings, he also painted the Battle of Kearsarge and Alabama 1864 which was inspired by American civil war in the battle Union's U.S.S. Kearsarge and the C.S.S. Alabama a Confederate raider.
In addition, he also painted Fishing boat coming in before the wind 1864, which is also known as (The Kearsarge in Boulogne), it one of the paintings that depict boats-and-ships, seas-and-oceans. Later works of art from the Boulogne-sur-Mer coast include Jetty at Boulogne 1868, Moonlight on Boulogne Harbour 1868, and The Jetty at Boulogne 1869. Other similar works by related artists - We cannot be sure what influenced Steamboat Leaving Boulogne Manet painting. However other similar works at Boulogne-sur-Mer coast but examples include Japanese print maker Utagawa Hiroshige and The green wave (1866-67).