Held in conjunction with the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, which holds one of the largest collections of the artist’s works, the exhibition ‘Raoul Dufy: a passion for colour’ explores the artist’s entire career and highlights, in particular, Dufy’s close links with Provence and the works of Paul Cezanne.
Raoul Dufy, who originated from Le Havre, was initially influenced by the Impressionists Claude Monet and Eugène Boudin, and was subsequently influenced by the strong colours and bold lines of Henri Matisse and the Fauves.
It was in 1908, during a trip to the South of France with Georges Braque, that Dufy went to paint at l’Estaque in homage to Cezanne. While Braque adhered to cubism a year later, Dufy continued to study Cezanne’s work until the end of the 1910s. As a result, he developed his own style at the beginning of the 1920s: the independence of colour and line and the simplification of forms in compositions without classical perspective. Seascapes, from Normandy to Provence, were one of the artist’s favourite subjects, combined with the theme of bathing women, regattas and boats. Blue became the predominant, even monochromatic colour in the mid 1920s.
The exhibition presents paintings, drawings, and ceramic articles that depict these themes, as well as Dufy’s highly subtle illustration work—which highlights his talent as a draughtsmanand colourist—in Colette’s Pour un Herbier, André Gide’s Les Nourritures Terrestres (The Fruits of the Earth), Guillaume Apollinaire’s Le Bestiaire, and Vacances Forcées by Roland Dorgelès.