PLACE DE LA CONCORDE
watercolor and gouache on paper, 18 7⁄8x 24 7⁄8inches,
signed lower left "Jean Dufy"
The personal collection of Mr. & Mrs. Jeffrey C. Thompson,
HarborBeach, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; By descent through his late wife,
by descent through her family; Private Collection, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Note: A copy of the letter of authenticity from Jacques Bailly,
dated December 12, 2014, accompanies the lot. To be listed in
the fourth coming Catalog Raisonné under Certificate No. 4457.
Jean Dufy was born in Le Havre, France in 1888. There he discovered works by Matisse, Derain, Marquet and Picasso at the Le Havre Exposition in 1906. In 1912, he moved to Paris and met Derain, Braque and Picasso. Dufy’s early watercolors are characterized by muted tones and somber browns, blues and reds—a technique influenced by Cézanne and inherited through his brother Raoul Dufy 1, who became a mentor throughout Jean’s career.
In 1916, Jean embarked upon a thirty-year career of decorating porcelain for Théodore Haviland in Limoges. He earned a gold medal at the 1925 International Exhibition of Decorative Arts for the“Châteaux de France” set of porcelain.
Back in Paris in 1920, Jean settled in Montmartre, where Georges Braque was his neighbor. He was included in expositions in Paris (Salon d’Automne at the Grand Palais des Champs-Elysées in 1920,1923, 1924, 1927, and 1932, Galerie Bingin 1929) and New York (Balzac Galleries in 1930, PerlsGalleries in 1938) where his paintings were put in the public eye for the first time.
Dufy traveled extensively throughout the 1950s, but it is obvious through subjects of his works that France was the place he considered home and his favorite subject matter.
The Place de la Concorde, Paris’ largest public square, is as storied and complex as the city itself. Originally named for the King Louis XV, the square housed the guillotine during the Revolution.
In this work by Jean Dufy, the iconic obelisk of Luxor is positioned at the center. The Hôtel de Crilloncan be seen on the left of the Rue Royale which was chosen in 1778 for the signing of the French-American treaty, by which France officially recognized the United States and the Declaration of independence.
Of his Paris paintings, historian and scholar Jacques Bailly notes, “In his oil paintings and watercolors, Jean Dufy chose to represent the city using a constantly evolving creative process dominated by a harmony of blue tones. For Jean, blue was an insatiable source of inspiration for the Gates of Paris, the streets, the horse-drawn carriages, the Eiffel Tower, the sky, and the Seine.”
1Jacques Bailly, “Jean Dufy: Biography,” jeandufy.com.