Sale 0517 Lot 43


french (1877-1953)


Raoul Dufy was born in Le Havre, Normandy where he first attended art school. There he became friends with painter, Othon Friesz and the two studied the works of Eugene Boudin in the museum of La Havre. In 1900 Dufy received a grant to study at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris.


In Paris, he studied at the studio of Leon Bonnat. He became familiar with the works of the Impressionists, but was particularly attracted to Henri Matisse and Fauvism. He saw Matisse’s Luxe, Calme et Volupte at the Salon des Independants in 1905 and was deeply impressed. Initially, Dufy’s work emulated the Fauvist style. After the war, he developed his own unique style with pure color, free flowing lines and varying perspectives.


The present example “Nature Morte au Jardin,” comes from a series of works Dufy did of this scene depicting a still-life composition in front of a garden. The varying perspectives suggest a nearby table top or an interior scene with a window looking out. In 1935, arts patron Alice Warder Garrett purchased 10 watercolors from Dufy including a watercolor from the “Nature Morte au Jardin” series.


Garrett’s collection of Dufy’s, which formed the Evergreen Museum and Library at John’s Hopkins, was exhibited in 2007. A review noted “Evergreen’s Dufy paintings -all made during the period between the two World Wars – chronicle a prolific period of sty-listic growth, when the artist’s thorough academic training, experiments with Impressionism and Fauvism, and experiences in book illustration and textile design coalesced into a fully mature a highly personal style of supple line, limpid color and saturated light.” (Heather Egan Stalfort, “A Celebration of Raoul Dufy,” Johns Hopkins University Museum, 2007)


Dufy was highly prolific and became best known for his scenes of Mediterranean landscapes, sea goddesses, Italian ruins and lighthearted views of leisure and spectacle. His paintings captured 20th French living and appealed to both European and American collectors. Time Magazine called Dufy “the granddaddy of modern chic” after his visit to America in 1950-1951.

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