Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday Salon: A Favorite Painting or Two or Three...

The French Fauvist artist Raoul Dufy (1877 - 1953) was born at Le Havre, in Normandy. Just in time for him to develop into a skilled painter during one of the most exciting and inventive artistic eras. As you can see,  his exuberant color and line make his work a joy to behold. Fauvism was a short- lived art movement which favored painterly values and dramatic use of color over the realistic or representational. Henri Matisse was, perhaps, its most famous proponent. To read more about Les Fauves (French for 'the wild beasts') please go here.

Dufy was also an illustrator, print maker and furniture designer, among many other disciplines. His highly decorative style of painting was adapted for use in ceramics and textiles as well, which is probably one of several reasons his work always looks vaguely familiar. To get an overview of Raoul Dufy's life and work, please go here. A bit more detail about Dufy's work can be had here.

You can also watch an exquisite video of Dufy's work at this youtube link.


  1. Hello Yvette:
    We love the free-spirited nature and explosive colour of Dufy's work. It still has the freshness of a contemporary painting even though painted so long ago.

    We find this period of French painting utterly fascinating and have only recently come to know the Hungarian artists who were also working at this time. It is so intriguing to see how the various artists influenced each other in terms of styles and techniques.

  2. Jane and Lance: Yes, exactly. As fresh today as yesterday. As fresh tomorrow too. :)

    There was tremendous influence, nobody was working in isolation, that's for sure. Many of the artists visited Paris and/or actually knew the painters who were doing the most influential work. It must have been the most exciting time.

  3. At first, I thought these were by Matisse, a favorite of mine, and of friends and relatives.

    But there is enough of a difference to see his influence, but that they are not his paintings.

    I haven't seen paintings by Dufy for years, but am very glad to see these. They are delightful and beautiful.

    Thanks for posting them. Just right for a hot day.

  4. Of these paintings, I gravitate most to the second and fourth — both still lifes, both simpler compositions, and both stronger blocks of color.

    I think Kathy is right — I see the influence of Matisse.

  5. I can honestly say I've never heard of this painter but I now want every print available. I love them. I think I have a new favorite now. Thanks!

  6. Kathy: I agree. The thing that is most apparent about many of these painters is the influence they each had on the other. These 'fauvists' and Impressionists, etc. were working at around the same time and many of them knew each other.

    It shows up in their work.

  7. Mark: That bright yellow piece is especially wonderful. I like Dufy's still splashes of color.

    There are several paintings of his featuring violins and musical notes.

    But I must admit I love the 'harlequin'.

    And the sea around Nice. The regattas and the Ascot races. Dufy was a chronicler (in his own way) of the trappings of 'the beautiful life.' Certainly to me, his work has the element of fantasy. It was real, but it wasn't. If you could paint dreams, this is what they would look like.

  8. Then I'm so glad I posted Dufy's work, Ryan. I love your enthusiasm!

    Dufy's prints are readily available. I'd go for the posters. I love art posters because of their size.

    Don't forget to watch the video!

  9. Dufy's paintings are fun, uplifting, happy, good for a day like today.

    There are a few here I'd love to have on my walls.

  10. The video is wonderful, a brief respite today, with lovely musical background.

    There's a lot of whimsy in Dufy's work.

  11. Kathy: Many of these paintings are available as prints/posters for not too much money. Look around online.

  12. Oh, do I ever wish I were on one of Dufy's beaches right now, in water up to my neck, and/or in one of his sailboats in the water.


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