Developments in the 19th Century


Art Styles in 19th century - Art Map





(Between Romanticism and Expressionism)


Raoul Dufy

(1877- 1953)



Raoul Dufy

(Encyclopaedia Britannica)

French painter and designer noted for his brightly coloured and highly decorative scenes of luxury and pleasure.

In 1900 Dufy went to Paris to attend the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, but the conventional art of the past did not attract him. Rather he was fascinated by the vibrant colour juxtapositions of the Impressionists and Post-impressionists, whose styles he adopted. By 1904 Dufy had abandoned the Impressionist style and had begun to work in the flat areas of bright colour typical of the Fauvist style. But in 1908-09, while working with the Cubist painters Georges Braque and Émile-Othon Friesz, he changed his style again and temporarily adopted subdued colours and a Cubist manner of composition. He then did woodcuts as illustrations for books, and his success in this medium encouraged him to design textiles and eventually to produce ceramics and tapestries.

In the early 1920s Dufy rededicated himself to painting and began producing what are now his best-known works. His distinctive style is characterized by bright, decorative colours thinly spread over a white ground, with objects sketchily delineated by sensuously undulating lines. Dufy took as his subjects scenes of recreation and spectacle, including horse races and regattas, parades, and concerts. He spent much time on the French Riviera and produced series of paintings of Nice (1927), the Bois de Boulogne (1929), and Deauville (1930). Though very popular, his lively, carefree, elegant paintings have been criticized as occasionally bordering on the superficial.




b Le Havre, 3 June 1877; d Forcalquier, Basses-Alpes, 23 March 1953.

French painter, printmaker and decorative artist. From the age of 14 he was employed as a book-keeper, but at the same time he developed his innate gift for drawing at evening classes at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Le Havre,given by the Neo-classical painter Charles Lhuillier (?1824–98). He discovered the work of Eugene Boudin, Poussin and Delacroix, whose Justice of Trajan (1840; Rouen, Mus. B.-A.) was ‘a revelation and certainly one of the most violent impressions’ of his life (Lassaigne, Eng. trans., p. 16). In 1900, with a grant from Le Havre, he joined his friend Othon Friesz in Paris and enrolled at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in the studio of Leon Bonnat. At the Musee du Louvre he studied the art of Claude Lorrain, to whom he painted several Homages between 1927 and 1947 (e.g. 1927; Nice, Mus. Massena). His encounter with works by van Gogh at the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune and with Impressionism at Durand-Ruel is reflected in such early works as Beach at St Adresse (1904; Paris, Pompidou).

The Three Umbrellas
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Yacht With Bunting
Anemones And Tulips
Birth Of Venus
Vase Of Roses

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