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Artists Raoul Dufy

Raoul Dufy

French Painter, Printmaker, and Textile Designer

Movements: Fauvism, Cubism, Art Deco

Born: June 3, 1877 - Le Havre, France

Died: March 23, 1953 - Forcalquier, France

Quotes

"My eyes were made to erase all that is ugly."
Raoul Dufy
"What I wish to show when I paint is the way I see things with my eyes and in my heart."
Raoul Dufy
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"Blue is the only color which maintains its own character in all its tones... it will always stay blue; whereas yellow is blackened in its shades, and fades away when lightened; red when darkened becomes brown, and diluted with white is no longer red, but another color - pink. "

Synopsis

It's been said that Dufy never painted a sad picture, for Dufy's particular brand of modernism was unhampered by doubt or strain. Rather, it expressed the most optimistic aspects of the twentieth century with wit and style. Dufy's discovery of Fauvism in 1905 was a revelation, and helped him to free color and line from their mimetic functions; his subsequent encounter with Cubism would inform his dynamic Art Deco fabric designs, employed by such famous couturiers as Paul Poiret. By the 1920s, the artist had settled upon what would become his hallmark stenographic style, combining deft and spontaneous outlines with broad and boundless areas of vivid color. He would further adapt this style in several large-scale public works from the 1930s, as well as in a series of paintings devoted to famous classical musicians at the end of his career. Even the great modernist writer Gertrude Stein was lyrical about this quality of his art, saying succinctly: "One must meditate about pleasure. Raoul Dufy is pleasure."

Key Ideas

Dufy's unique interpretation of Fauvism, which he adopted after 1905, was to marry the movement's avant-garde formal principles with a decorative aesthetic. His use of spontaneous, expressive lines and intense, non-naturalistic color can be seen in his many pleasure-filled images of regattas, horse racing, and outdoor leisure activities in France.
In addition to his work as a painter, watercolorist, and printmaker, a major component of Dufy's artistic output was his work as a textile designer. Beginning in 1909, Dufy created colorful block-printed silk and cotton fabrics featuring the dynamic geometries and exotic motifs of Art Deco. Dufy's designs were used by the most famous haute couture designers of the time, and have been hailed as some of the artist's most enduring and popular artistic achievements.
Dufy worked on a number of large-scale public art commissions during his career. With their combination of modern and allegorical subjects rendered in exuberant outlines and hyper-intense colors, these monumental works represent the artist's successful modernist take on the classic mural tradition.

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Most Important Art

The Regatta (c. 1908-10)
Dufy was born in Le Havre on France's channel coast, and throughout his career he depicted scenes of boating, beach-going, and other maritime leisure activities in his art. In The Regatta, we see a group of nattily dressed spectators (including men and women in straw hats and brown and white linen suits; a figure at right wears a purple bathing costume) lining the beach. The figures gaze towards a sea full of sailboats and sculls packed with rowers, as French flags flutter in the breeze. Dufy employed the broad brushstrokes, bold outlines, and vibrant and expressive colors of Fauvism, which he adopted after seeing Matisse's groundbreaking canvas, Luxe, Calme, et Volupté, exhibited at the 1905 Salon des Indépendantes. The Regatta thus demonstrates what Dufy came to see as the "new mechanism for art": not the faithful rendering of external, objective reality but rather the "miracle of imagination at play in line and color."
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Raoul Dufy: Of Interest

Raoul Dufy Self-Portrait (1901)Raoul Dufy PhotoRaoul Dufy Photo

Raoul Dufy Artist Overview Page:

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Fauvism
Fauvism
Fauvism
Fauvism was an early twentieth-century art movement founded by Henri Matisse and André Derain. Labeled as "wild beasts", Fauve artists favored vibrant colors and winding gestural strokes across the canvas.
TheArtStory: Fauvism
Cubism
Cubism
Cubism
Cubism was developed by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque between 1907-1911, and it continued to be highly influential long after its decline. This classic phase has two stages: 'Analytic', in which forms seem to be 'analyzed' and fragmented; and 'Synthetic', in which pre-existing materials such as newspaper and wood veneer are collaged to the surface of the canvas.
TheArtStory: Cubism
Art Deco
Art Deco
Art Deco
Art Deco was an eclectic style that flourished in the 1920s and '30s and influenced art, architecture and design. It blended a love of modernity - expressed through geometric shapes and streamlined forms - with references to the classical past and to exotic locations.
TheArtStory: Art Deco
Paul Poiret
Paul Poiret
Paul Poiret
Paul Poiret was a French fashion designer who revolutionized the couture of the early twentieth century. Scandalizing society by creating clothing meant to free women from their corsets, and their skirts with his invention of the harem pant, he also diversified the fashion field with his home decor and perfume divisions. Poiret was also closely tied to the leading artists of the time, leasing some of his property to his friend for use as a gallery in which works by by Amedeo Modigliani and Pablo Picasso were exhibited.
Paul Poiret
Gertrude Stein
Gertrude Stein
Gertrude Stein
Gertrude Stein was an American writer and supporter of the arts whose Paris salons were key sites for avant-garde art in the early twentieth century. She built one of the earliest collections of modern art, including works by Matisse, Picasso, Braque, and others.
Gertrude Stein
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