Artist biography

Charles Dufresne 1876-1938

French painter, engraver and designer, born at Millemont (Seine-et-Oise) of a seafaring family. Apprenticed in his youth to a commercial engraver, then studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts under Ponscarme, an engraver and medallist, and worked as assistant to the medallist Alexandre Charpentier. Became increasingly interested in painting and first attracted attention with pastels of café-concerts and circuses. Friendship with Segonzac, Boussingault and Despiau. In 1910 won the Prix de l'Afrique du Nord and spent two years in Algeria, which stirred his interest in exoticism and lyricism. Turned from pastel to oils in 1911. Painted first in strong colours, then in sombre browns and ochres and with more simplified forms influenced by Segonzac and Cubism. After war service 1914-18, painted mythological, legendary and religious subjects in the tradition of Delacroix, Rubens, Tiepolo. From the early 1920s worked much in Provence, near Toulon. First one-man exhibition at the Galerie Barbazanges, Paris, 1922. Designed tapestries and for the ballet; his works also included large mural compositions (completed 1938) for the Ecole de Pharmacie in Paris. Died at La Seyne.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.193