|Self Portrait, 1940
Raoul Dufy: 1878 - 1953
"........Of the man whose memory we are honoring today ... I retain
the image of a wonderful, fine, generous and authentic man, an essentially civilized man, cultivated in the strongest sense
of the word, with a culture so profound that it sheltered him from the resentments and ruptures which threaten everyone in
our time... His work is eminently contemporary ... his message very much of our time ... Dufy's career was so long and fruitful;
it goes beyond our past, fulfills our present and launches us into the future. "
From the eulogy delivered by Charles Lapicque at the
Union des Arts Plastiques on June 14, 1953.
1877 : Born at Le Havre on June 3.
Dufy takes evening classes at the Ecole Municipale des Beaux-Arts.
Meets Friesz and they rent a studio together.
Plein air painting on Sundays. Dufy paints at Honfleur on family trips to his mother's
birthplace and does small family portraits. With Friesz studies Boudin at the Musee du Havre, Poussin, Corot, Gericault and
Delacroix at the Musee des Beaux-Arts in Rouen.
Dufy wins a 1,200 franc annual scholarship from the Le Havre authorities for the Ecole
des Beaux-Arts, Paris. The academic atmosphere however, is uninspiring. and Dufy is more interested in Gauguin, Van
Gogh, and above all Pissarro, Monet and the impressionists on view at the Vollard and Durand-Ruel Galleries.
Berthe Weill buys a pastel and Dufy is included in six group shows
at her gallery between 1903 and 1909, and in 1925. Matisse, Marquet, Derain, Vlaminck, and Picasso have pictures at the gallery.
Two paintings by Dufy are exhibited at the Salon des Independants, one is bought by
Maurice Denis. Dufy exhibits there regularly until 1911, then in 1913 and sporadically in the 1920s and 1930s.
By this time, Dufy has moved further and further away from the academic style. At the
Salon des Independants of 1905, Dufy is drawn to Fauvism after viewing Matisse's work: Luxe, calme et volupté.
recalled in 1925 his revelation at the sight of Matisse's Luxe, calme et volupte:
"I understood the new raison d'etre
of painting and impressionist realism lost all its charm for me as I looked at this miracle of creative imagination at work
in color and line."
Berthe Weill organizes Dufy's first one man exhibition in October 1906. Dufy works
with Friesz at Falaise, with Braque at Durtal, and with Marquet at Trouville; he exhibits seven works at the Salon d'Automne,
including two Rues pavoisees.
: In order to earn extra money, Dufy begins to work in wood engraving.
Spends the summer in Nomandy at Sainte-Adresse, and goes to Martigues and Marseilles in autumn.
Dufy takes a pilgrimage to Estaque, near Marseilles, with Georges Braque. The two painters
are enthralled by the work of Cezanne. From that time, Dufy moves away from Fauvism, and begins to experiment with cubism.
With Fernand Fleuret , Dufy visits Provence and then Marseilles. His first
woodcuts for Fleuret's Friperies
(published 1923) and for Apollinaire's Bestiaire
Completes the Bestiare
woodcuts in a new studio, rue Linne, and sees Apollinaire
daily. Five plates are shown at the Salon d'Automne along with prints of La Danse, L'Amour, La Chasse
and La Musique.
After a trip to Munich with Friesz in 1909, Dufy continues working in wood
engraving. He illustrates the Après un voyage à Munich
with Friesz en 1909. In 1911, Dufy marries Eugenie Brisson,
and moves into a studio at Guelma, that he will keep throughout his life. In 1911, Dufy meets Paul Poiret, one of the
greatest couturiers at the beginning of the 20th century, with who he creates La Petite Usine, where he creates his first
printed fabrics ( Chasseur, Marine, Automne, Nature Morte
) and fabrics that contributed to the reknown of
|Mer et Nuages, 1910
1910-1911 : Paul Poiret commissions Dufy to decorate the Pavillon de Butard
and his notepaper at the maison de Couture.
1911 : Poiret founds the Ecole Martine in April followed by the Petite Usine at
Boulevard de Clichy where Dufy experiments with textile printing. He paints the awning for "La Mille et Deuxieme Nuit",
the Persian fete held in Poiret's garden.
First four hangings made for Poiret including La Danse and La Chasse. Execution
of several primitive woodcut series for Emile Verhaeren's Poemes Legendaires de France et de Brabant 1916, Poiret's Almanach
des Lettres et des Arts 1917, Remy de Gourmont's M. Croquant, 1918 and the Almanachs de Cocaigne, 1920, 1921, and 1922.
Beginning of Dufy's association with Bianchini-Ferier, the prestigious Lyonnais textile firm. Dufy produces
numerous designs for printed and woven fabrics during this collaboration.
Dufy is represented at the Neue Secession
, Berlin, the Armory Show
in New York, and in Chicago, Boston and Paris.
War declared and Dufy drives a van for the military postal service.
illustrations in Cocteau's journal Le Mot
. Between 1915 and 1919 Dufy creates
over 100 fabric designs assisted by Gabriel Fournier.
Dufy resumes work for Bianchini-Ferier which was interrupted by World War I. Andre
Robert becomes his assistant. Dufy's first contributions to theater design, as a result of his friendship with Jean Cocteau.
A lengthy stay in Vence in Southern France where he begins a series of paintings
devoted to this location. In this euphoric period following World War I, Dufy is inspired by the light and the colors of the
Mediterranean: he visits Rome and Sicily (1922), then Morocco (1925/26), developing the supple and joyful art that is his
own. The same evolution transpires in his prints, where he abandons wood engraving for lithography.
Dufy's first exhibition at the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs. Scenery with
Fauconnet for Cocteau's Le Boeuf sur le Toit,
Theatre des Champs-Elysees and London Coliseum. Poiret's summer collection
with Dufy fabrics appears in the Gazette du Bon Ton.
Dufy's first exhibition of over 90 works at the Galerie Bernheim Jeune (where
he exhibited regularly until 1932).
In June he meets Dr. Roudinesco, one of his greatest future collectors.
Decors for the ballet Frivolant. Travels to Florence, Rome and Sicily with Pierre Courthion. He has become
a successful Parisian figure by this time, and he divides his time henceforth between Paris and the southern France.
The first experiments in designing ceramic art with the Catalan ceramist, Artigas
-- a collaboration that lasted until 1938.
Dufy's first exhibition in Bruxelles, at the Centaure Gallery. It was at this time that Dufy began to work
more in watercolor, a medium that allowed him to express himself more freely. Dufy's first tapestry commission, Manufacture
de Beauvais. First visit to London.
|Paris, L'Avenue du Bois de Boulogne
1924: Commissioned to create tapestries for the Manufacture
Nationale de Beauvais.
1925: Dufy creates 14 wall hangings for Paul Poiret who used them to decorate
his barge Orgues at the International Exhibition of the Decorative Arts. These are later exhibited at the Galerie Barbazanges-Hodebert.
Ceramic fountain for the "La Renaissance" pavilion. Designs backdrop for Rene Kerdyck's ballet Adieu Paris.
Poiret takes him to Morocco, where he paints a series of watercolors which he exhibited the following year at
the Bernheim-Jeune Gallery.
1927: Decorations for the Dining Room of Dr. Viard in Paris.
Creates an important series of paintings and watercolors of Nice.
1928: collaboration with Bianchini-Ferier lasted until this time.
1928-1929: Mural decorations for Arthur Weisweiller's villa L'Altana
1930: Travel to England, and painting in Deauville. 94 etchings
for Eugene de Montfort's La Belle Enfant, published by Vollard.
Begins collaboration with Marie Cuttoli for tapestries (to 1940) and with Maison Onondaga, New York, for fabric
designs (to 1933).
1931 One-man exhibitions in Brussels and Zurich. He begins
the illustrations of "Tartarin de Tarascon" by Alphonse Daudet. Dufy's first suite of furniture exhibited at Bernheim-Jeune's.
Stays in Nice, Hyères and Cannes.
Travels to Cowes several times to paint the regattas and horse races. He begins a series
of watercolors of the châteaux of the Loire (that he completed in 1938) and created the decor for "L’Œuf
de Colombe" of René Kerdyck. One-man exhibitions in New York, Bruxelles and Prague.
1935 He meets the chemist, Jacques Maroger, inventor of a medium
for oil painting, giving similar effects of watercolor, by allowing light to pass through the pigments. Dufy continued to
use this medium for the majority of his canvases after that.
Proposes to decorate the swimming pool of the luxury liner Normandie with Amphytrites, the statues at Versailles,
fountains of the Place de la Concorde, beach scenes etc. Withdraws when the project is thrown open to competition.
|Le Chateau et la Grille, 1935
1937 Universal Exposition, Paris: La Fee Electricite, commissioned
and begun in 1936, exhibited in the Palais de la Lumiere. Dufy refuses to exhibit it in a New York department store, but travels
to Pittsburgh as a member for the Carnegie Prize Jury. .
Dufy exhibited an important group of 34 paintings at the exhibition of the Maîtres de l’Art Indépendant
at the Petit Palais. During a stay in England, he paints scenes of the coronation of George VI, then makes his first trip
to the United States, invited to be part of the jury of the Carnegie Prize.
1938-1940 Mural decoration for the Palais de Chaillot theatre bar:
La Seine, L'Oise et la Marne, showing the course of the Seine from Paris to its estuary at Le Havre. One-man exhibitions in
New York, Chicago, London. Return to Nice.
Decorative panels for the Singerie at the Jardin des Plantes, Paris, showing outstanding
French explorers and Kipling, etc. When war is declared, Dufy continues to work on this and the Palais de Chaillot murals
|Study: Theater Bar of the Palais de Chaillot
1940: Dufy takes refuge in Nice, then Perpignan, where he stays with his doctor,
Dr. Nicolau, then in a studio on Rue Jeanne d'Arc. To Aix les Bains to take a cure, where he meets Gertrude Stein and
visits her at Culoz. Increasingly crippled by arthritis.
1941: On the recommendation of Jean Lurçat, Dufy completes two cartoons
for the tapestries "Collioure" and "Le Bel Eté". at Aubusson. Louis Carré becomes his dealer. Dufy begins the series
Participated in a group exhibition, "Young French Painters and Their Masters" in Switzerland,
and one-man exhibitions at the Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles, in Paris, Lyon and New York.
1943: Paints at Vernet-les-Bains. Summer at Montsaures, Haute-Garonne,
with Roland Dorgeles where he watches threshers at work, and creates the first "depiquages" series.
Louis Carre publishes a volume "Drawings and Sketches from the files and notebooks of
Perhaps influenced by the music which inspired his Orchestra series, Dufy moves towards
a different kind of painting: "tonal painting." While retaining his previous independence of outline and color, along with
his extraordinarily agile style and inventiveness, he abandons his three-color restrictions and begins to paint the entire
picture as an integrated whole, which in some paintings is black, the color properties of which he rediscovers after thirty
years. He begins his series: Cargos Noirs.
1946: Creates a suite of furniture for Marie Cuttoli and two Aubusson
Tabard tapestries exhibited at the Musee National d'Art Moderne in "La Tapisserie Francaise du Moyen Age a nos jours."
Gertrude Stein's text, "Raoul Dufy" appears in a Brussels art journal. Dufy exhibits at the Salon des Tuileries as he would
in 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951 and 1953.
1947: Large exhibition at the Louis Carré Gallery in Paris.
1948: Cocteau publishes a monograph on Dufy. "Tapisseries de haute-lisse"
shown at the Galerie Louis Carre. May 2 1948 - April 11, 1950: conversations with Pierre Courthion in Perpignan that
form the basis of his definitive study of 1951. Continues Cargo noir series until 1952.
1949: Exhibition at the Louis Carre Gallery in New York. The publication
by Flammarion of a book on Dufy by Jean Cocteau. Travel to Spain.
1950 - 1952:
Dufy has been suffering from polyarthritis since the late 30s, and he travels
to the United States for the first cortisone treatments from Freddy T. Homburger, at the Jewish Memorial Hospital in Boston.
A new exhibition at Louis Carré in New York and a traveling exhibition in several American cities. Designs scenery for Anouilh's
"Ring Around the Moon," produced by Gilbert Miller in New York.
A stay in Tucson, Arizona where he discovered the positive effects of the dry climate on his arthritis pains.
1951: Exhibits in New York, Pittsburgh, Washington, Richmond,
Chicago. Paints jazz bands in Mexico.
1952: The largest exhibition of works by Dufy is organized at the Musée d’Art
et d’Histoire de Genève. He receives the Grand Prix de la Présidence du Conseil at the XXVIe Biennale
de Venise, where he exhibited 41 paintings. Dufy donates the prize money to Charles Lapique for a stay in Venice and
the Italian, Vedova, for a trip to France. Settles in Forcalquier, Basse Alpes. The O'Hana gallery holds and Exhibition
of Raoul Dufy racecourses, the first important post-war showing of his work in London. Numerous one-man exhibitions
in New York, Edinburgh, Paris, and Copenhagen.
Death of Dufy on March 23 in Forcalquier, and he is buried on March 25, in the Cemetary
of Cimiez, Nice. Three months later, the Musée National d’Art Moderne de Paris creates the first large retrospective,
devoted to the artist.