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Raoul Dufy | Still Life

Raoul Dufy (1877-1953) was a French Fauvist painter, brother of Jean Dufy.
He developed a colorful, decorative style that became fashionable for designs of ceramics and textiles, as well as decorative schemes for public buildings.
He is noted for scenes of open-air social events.
He was also a draftsman, printmaker, book illustrator, scenic designer, a designer of furniture, and a planner of public spaces.

Early life
Raoul Dufy was born into a large family at Le Havre, in Normandy. He left school at the age of fourteen to work in a coffee-importing company. In 1895, when he was 18, he started taking evening classes in art at Le Havre's École des Beaux-Arts (municipal art school).
The classes were taught by Charles Lhuillier, who had been, forty years earlier, a student of the French portrait-painter, Ingres. There, Dufy met Raimond Lecourt and Othon Friesz with whom he later shared a studio in Montmartre and to whom he remained a lifelong friend. During this period, Dufy painted mostly Norman landscapes in watercolors.
In 1900, after a year of military service, Dufy won a scholarship to the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where again he crossed paths with Othon Friesz. (He was there when Georges Braque also was studying.)
He concentrated on improving his drawing skills. The impressionist landscape painters, such as Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro, influenced Dufy profoundly. His first exhibition (at the Exhibition of French Artists) took place in 1901.
Introduced to Berthe Weill in 1902, Dufy showed his work in her gallery.
Then he exhibited again in 1903 at the Salon des Indépendants. A boost to his confidence: the painter, Maurice Denis, bought one of his paintings.
Dufy continued to paint, often in the vicinity of Le Havre, and, in particular, on the beach at Sainte-Adresse, made famous by Eugène Boudin and Claude Monet.
In 1904, with his friend, Albert Marquet, he worked in Fecamp on the English Channel (La Manche).

Later years
Henri Matisse's Luxe, Calme et Volupté, which Dufy saw at the Salon des Indépendants in 1905, was a revelation to the young artist, and it directed his interests towards Fauvism.
Les Fauves (the wild beasts) emphasized bright color and bold contours in their work.
Dufy's painting reflected this aesthetic until about 1909, when contact with the work of Paul Cézanne led him to adopt a somewhat subtler technique.
It was not until 1920, however, after he had flirted briefly with yet another style, cubism, that Dufy developed his own distinctive approach. It involved skeletal structures, arranged with foreshortened perspective, and the use of thin washes of color applied quickly, in a manner that came to be known as stenographic.
Dufy's cheerful oils and watercolors depict events of the time period, including yachting scenes, sparkling views of the French Riviera, chic parties, and musical events.
The optimistic, fashionably decorative, and illustrative nature of much of his work has meant that his output has been less highly valued critically than the works of artists who have addressed a wider range of social concerns.

Dufy completed one of the largest paintings ever contemplated, a huge and immensely popular ode to electricity, the fresco La Fée Electricité for the 1937 Exposition Internationale in Paris.
Dufy also acquired a reputation as an illustrator and as a commercial artist. He painted murals for public buildings; he also produced a huge number of tapestries and ceramic designs. His plates appear in books by Guillaume Apollinaire, Stéphane Mallarmé and André Gide.
In 1909, Raoul Dufy was commissioned by Paul Poiret to design stationery for the house, and after 1912 designed textile patterns for Bianchini-Ferier used in Poiret's and Charvet's garments.
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Dufy exhibited at the annual Salon des Tuileries in Paris. By 1950, his hands were struck with rheumatoid arthritis and his ability to paint diminished, as he had to fasten the brush to his hand.
In April he went to Boston to undergo an experimental treatment with cortisone and corticotropin, based on the work of Philip S. Hench. It proved successful, and some of his next works were dedicated to the doctors and researchers in the United States.
In 1952 he received the grand prize for painting in the 26th Venice Biennale.
Dufy died at Forcalquier, France, on 23 March 1953, of intestinal bleeding, which was a likely result of his continuous treatment. He was buried near Matisse in the Cimiez Monastery Cemetery in Cimiez, a suburb of the city of Nice. | © Wikipedia

Raoul Dufy (1877-1953) è stato un pittore e scenografo Francese.
Nato da una famiglia di modeste condizioni economiche, ebbe un padre attivo come organista e maestro di coro, che trasferì a Raoul ed agli altri tre figli la passione per la musica.
Nel 1891 la famiglia ebbe una grave crisi finanziaria e il giovane Raoul fu costretto a cercare lavoro a Le Havre. Riuscì nonostante ciò a iscriversi ai corsi serali del maestro Charles Lhuillier alla Scuola di Belle Arti della sua città dove conobbe Othon Friesz, che diventerà uno dei suoi più cari amici.
Assieme a Friesz si accostò alle nuove tendenze pittoriche elaborate da Matisse.
Il 1903 fu l'anno della sua prima volta al Salon des Indépendants, nel quale espose fino al 1936.

Nel 1906 venne accettato al Salon d'Automne, a cui prese parte fino al 1943.
A partire dal 1908, Dufy frequentò spesso la Costa Azzurra, intento a dipingere nelle sue tele i colori forti di quelle acque. Negli anni dieci del secolo sviluppò nuove ricerche nel campo della xilografia, dalle quali sbocciarono illustrazioni e impressioni su stoffa.
Negli anni successivi intraprese numerosi viaggi dove espose le sue opere.
Negli anni della seconda guerra mondiale si occupò anche di scenografia e di arazzo, fornendo cartoni per le manifatture di Beauvais.
Morì il 23 marzo 1953 a Forcalquier per un'emorragia intestinale. La sua attività artistica non conobbe interruzioni, neppure dopo la diagnosi di artrite reumatoide, malattia che lo afflisse dal cinquantottesimo anno di vita.
Costretto spesso a servirsi delle stampelle o della carrozzina, trasse qualche beneficio dal cortisone: fu uno dei primi pazienti in assoluto a farne uso. | © Wikipedia