Raoul Dufy
Overview
 
Raoul Dufy[p]  was a French
French people
The French are a nation that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue. Historically, the French population are descended from peoples of Celtic, Latin and Germanic origin, and are today a mixture of several ethnic groups...

 Fauvist
Fauvism
Fauvism is the style of les Fauves , a short-lived and loose group of early twentieth-century Modern artists whose works emphasized painterly qualities and strong colour over the representational or realistic values retained by Impressionism...

 painter. He developed a colorful, decorative style that became fashionable for designs of ceramics and textiles, as well as decorative schemes for public buildings. He is noted for scenes of open-air social events. He was also a draftsman, printmaker, book illustrator, a theatrical set-dresser, a designer of furniture, and a planner of public spaces.
Raoul Dufy was born into a large family at Le Havre
Le Havre
Le Havre is a city in the Seine-Maritime department of the Haute-Normandie region in France. It is situated in north-western France, on the right bank of the mouth of the river Seine on the English Channel. Le Havre is the most populous commune in the Haute-Normandie region, although the total...

, in Normandy
Normandy
Normandy is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. It is in France.The continental territory covers 30,627 km² and forms the preponderant part of Normandy and roughly 5% of the territory of France. It is divided for administrative purposes into two régions:...

.
Encyclopedia
Raoul Dufy[p]  was a French
French people
The French are a nation that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue. Historically, the French population are descended from peoples of Celtic, Latin and Germanic origin, and are today a mixture of several ethnic groups...

 Fauvist
Fauvism
Fauvism is the style of les Fauves , a short-lived and loose group of early twentieth-century Modern artists whose works emphasized painterly qualities and strong colour over the representational or realistic values retained by Impressionism...

 painter. He developed a colorful, decorative style that became fashionable for designs of ceramics and textiles, as well as decorative schemes for public buildings. He is noted for scenes of open-air social events. He was also a draftsman, printmaker, book illustrator, a theatrical set-dresser, a designer of furniture, and a planner of public spaces.

Biography

Raoul Dufy was born into a large family at Le Havre
Le Havre
Le Havre is a city in the Seine-Maritime department of the Haute-Normandie region in France. It is situated in north-western France, on the right bank of the mouth of the river Seine on the English Channel. Le Havre is the most populous commune in the Haute-Normandie region, although the total...

, in Normandy
Normandy
Normandy is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. It is in France.The continental territory covers 30,627 km² and forms the preponderant part of Normandy and roughly 5% of the territory of France. It is divided for administrative purposes into two régions:...

. He left school at the age of fourteen to work in a coffee-importing company. In 1895, when he was 18, he started taking evening classes in art at Le Havre's École d'Art (municipal art school). The classes were taught by Charles Lhuillier, who had been, forty years earlier, a student of the remarkable French portrait-painter, Ingres
Ingres
Ingres Database is a commercially supported, open-source SQL relational database management system intended to support large commercial and government applications...

. There, Dufy met Raymond Lecourt and Othon Friesz
Othon Friesz
Achille-Émile Othon Friesz who later called himself just Othon Friesz , a native of Le Havre, was a French artist of the Fauvist movement....

 with whom he later shared a studio in Montmartre
Montmartre
Montmartre is a hill which is 130 metres high, giving its name to the surrounding district, in the north of Paris in the 18th arrondissement, a part of the Right Bank. Montmartre is primarily known for the white-domed Basilica of the Sacré Cœur on its summit and as a nightclub district...

 and to whom he remained a lifelong friend. During this period, Dufy painted mostly Norman landscapes in watercolors.

In 1900, after a year of military service, Dufy won a scholarship to the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts
École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts
The École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts is the distinguished National School of Fine Arts in Paris, France.The École des Beaux-arts is made up of a vast complex of buildings located at 14 rue Bonaparte, between the quai Malaquais and the rue Bonaparte, in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Près,...

 in Paris, where again he crossed paths with Othon Friesz. (He was there when Georges Braque
Georges Braque
Georges Braque[p] was a major 20th century French painter and sculptor who, along with Pablo Picasso, developed the art style known as Cubism.-Early Life:...

 also was studying.) He concentrated on improving his drawing skills. The impressionist landscape painters, such as Claude Monet
Claude Monet
Claude Monet was a founder of French impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting. . Retrieved 6 January 2007...

 and Camille Pissarro
Camille Pissarro
Camille Pissarro was a French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painter born on the island of St Thomas . His importance resides in his contributions to both Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, as he was the only artist to exhibit in both forms...

, influenced Dufy profoundly. His first exhibition (at the Exhibition of French Artists) took place in 1901. Introduced to Berthe Weill in 1902, Dufy showed his work in her gallery. Then he exhibited again in 1903 at the Salon des Independants. A boost to his confidence: the painter, Maurice Denis
Maurice Denis
Maurice Denis was a French painter and writer, and a member of the Symbolist and Les Nabis movements. His theories contributed to the foundations of cubism, fauvism, and abstract art.-Childhood and education:...

, bought one of his paintings. Dufy continued to paint, often in the vicinity of Le Havre, and, in particular, on the beach at Sainte-Adresse
Sainte-Adresse
Sainte-Adresse is a commune in the Seine-Maritime department in the Haute-Normandie region in northern France.-Geography:A coastal suburb situated some northwest of Le Havre city centre, at the junction of the D147 and the D940...

, made famous by Eugene Boudin
Eugène Boudin
Eugène Boudin was one of the first French landscape painters to paint outdoors.Boudin was a marine painter, and expert in the rendering of all that goes upon the sea and along its shores...

 and Claude Monet
Claude Monet
Claude Monet was a founder of French impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting. . Retrieved 6 January 2007...

. In 1904, with his friend, Albert Marquet
Albert Marquet
Albert Marquet was a French painter, associated with the Fauvist movement.-Life and work:Marquet was born in 1875 at Bordeaux. In 1890 he moved to Paris to attend the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs, where he met Henri Matisse. They were roommates for a time, and they influenced each other's work...

, he worked in Fecamp
Fécamp
Fécamp is a commune in the Seine-Maritime department in the Haute-Normandie region in northern France.-Geography:Fécamp is situated in the valley of the river Valmont, at the heart of the Pays de Caux, on the Albaster Coast...

 on the English Channel
English Channel
The English Channel , often referred to simply as the Channel, is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates southern England from northern France, and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. It is about long and varies in width from at its widest to in the Strait of Dover...

 (La Manche).

Henri Matisse
Henri Matisse
Henri Matisse was a French artist, known for his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter...

's Luxe, Calme et Volupté
Luxe, Calme et Volupté
Luxe, Calme et Volupté is an oil painting by Henri Matisse. It was painted in 1904, after a summer spent working in St. Tropez on the French Riviera alongside the neo-Impressionist painters Paul Signac and Henri Edmond Cross...

, which Dufy saw at the Salon des Indépendants in 1905, was a revelation to the young artist, and it directed his interests towards Fauvism
Fauvism
Fauvism is the style of les Fauves , a short-lived and loose group of early twentieth-century Modern artists whose works emphasized painterly qualities and strong colour over the representational or realistic values retained by Impressionism...

. Les Fauves (the wild beasts) emphasized bright color and bold contours in their work. Dufy’s painting reflected this aesthetic until about 1909, when contact with the work of Paul Cézanne
Paul Cézanne
Paul Cézanne was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th century conception of artistic endeavour to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century. Cézanne can be said to form the bridge between late 19th...

 led him to adopt a somewhat subtler technique. It was not until 1920, however, after he had flirted briefly with yet another style, cubism
Cubism
Cubism was a 20th century avant-garde art movement, pioneered by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, that revolutionized European painting and sculpture, and inspired related movements in music, literature and architecture...

, that Dufy developed his own distinctive approach. It involved skeletal structures, arranged with foreshortened perspective, and the use of thin washes of color applied quickly, in a manner that came to be known as stenographic.

Dufy's cheerful oils and watercolors depict events of the time period, including yachting scenes, sparkling views of the French Riviera
French Riviera
The Côte d'Azur, pronounced , often known in English as the French Riviera , is the Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France, also including the sovereign state of Monaco...

, chic parties, and musical events. The optimistic, fashionably decorative, and illustrative nature of much of his work has meant that his output has been less highly-valued critically than the works of artists who have addressed a wider range of social concerns.

Dufy completed one of the largest paintings ever contemplated, a huge and immensely popular ode to electricity, the fresco La Fée Electricité for the 1937 Exposition Internationale
Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne (1937)
The Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne was held from May 25 to November 25, 1937 in Paris, France...

 in Paris.

Dufy also acquired a reputation as an illustrator and as a commercial artist. He changed the face of local fashion and fabric design with his work for Paul Poiret
Paul Poiret
Paul Poiret was a French fashion designer. His contributions to twentieth-century fashion have been likened to Picasso's contributions to twentieth-century art.-Early life and career:...

. He painted murals for public buildings; he also produced a huge number of tapestries and ceramic designs. His plates appear in books by Guillaume Apollinaire
Guillaume Apollinaire
Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary Kostrowicki, known as Guillaume Apollinaire was a French poet, playwright, short story writer, novelist, and art critic born in Italy to a Polish mother....

, Stéphane Mallarmé
Stéphane Mallarmé
Stéphane Mallarmé , whose real name was Étienne Mallarmé, was a French poet and critic. He was a major French symbolist poet, and his work anticipated and inspired several revolutionary artistic schools of the early 20th century, such as Dadaism, Surrealism, and Futurism.-Biography:Stéphane...

, and André Gide
André Gide
André Paul Guillaume Gide was a French author and winner of the Nobel Prize in literature in 1947. Gide's career ranged from its beginnings in the symbolist movement, to the advent of anticolonialism between the two World Wars.Known for his fiction as well as his autobiographical works, Gide...

.
In the late 1940s and early 1950s Dufy exhibited at the annual Salon des Tuileries
Salon des Tuileries
The Salon des Tuileries was an annual art exhibition for painting and sculpture, created June 14, 1923, co-founded by painter Albert Besnard, sculptor Antoine Bourdelle, architect Auguste Perret, and others....

 in Paris. Dufy died at Forcalquier
Forcalquier
Forcalquier is a commune in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department in southeastern France.Forcalquier is located between the Lure and Luberon mountain ranges, about south of Sisteron and west of the Durance river...

, France, on 23 March 1953, and he was buried near Matisse
Henri Matisse
Henri Matisse was a French artist, known for his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter...

 in the Cimiez Monastery Cemetery in Cimiez
Cimiez
Cimiez is a neighborhood in Nice, southern France. The area contains the Musée Matisse and the ruins of Cemenelum, capital of the Ancient Roman province Alpes Maritimae on the Ligurian coast...

, a suburb of the city of Nice.

Work outside of painting

In 1909, Raoul Dufy was commissioned by Paul Poiret
Paul Poiret
Paul Poiret was a French fashion designer. His contributions to twentieth-century fashion have been likened to Picasso's contributions to twentieth-century art.-Early life and career:...

 to design stationery for the house, and after 1912 designed textile patterns for Bianchini-Ferier used in Poiret's and Charvet's garments.

Works

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