Artist biography

Raoul Dufy 1877-1953

French painter in oil and watercolour, illustrator and designer. Born at Le Havre. Took a job in commerce but also began in 1892 to attend evening classes at the municipal Ecole des Beaux-Arts, where he met Othon Friesz. Awarded a scholarship in 1900 and went to Paris where he studied for four years under Bonnat at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Influenced at first by the Impressionists, then from 1905 by the Fauve style of Matisse and began to work in richer colours. First one-man exhibition at the Galerie Berthe Weill, Paris, 1906. Worked with Marquet at Trouville in 1906 and with Braque at L'Estaque in 1908; was temporarily influenced by Braque's early Cubist style and Cézanne. Set up a small factory about 1911 to design and print fabrics for the couturier Poiret. From 1920 onwards made frequent visits to Vence, Nice and elsewhere in the Midi. Painted regattas, concerts, landscapes and racecourses in brilliant colours and with calligraphic brushwork. Decorated ceramics by Artigas from 1923-30, illustrated various books with woodcuts, lithographs or etchings, and painted a huge mural of 'Electricity' for the 1937 Paris International Exhibition. Awarded the main painting prize at the 1952 Venice Biennale. Died at Forcalquier, in the Basses-Alpes.

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.194