RAOUL DUFY (1877-1953)
RAOUL DUFY (1877-1953)
RAOUL DUFY (1877-1953)
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RAOUL DUFY (1877-1953)
4 More
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial int… Read more PROPERTY FROM A NEW JERSEY COLLECTION
RAOUL DUFY (1877-1953)

Le Port du Havre

RAOUL DUFY (1877-1953)
Le Port du Havre
signed 'Raoul Dufy' (lower right)
oil on canvas
25 3/4 x 32 in. (65.4 x 81.3 cm.)
Painted in 1906
Galerie Marcel Bernheim, Paris.
Perls Galleries, New York.
Albert Dreitzer, New York; sale, Sotheby's, New York, 13 November 1985, lot 17.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
M. Laffaille, Raoul Dufy: Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, Geneva, 1972, vol. I, p. 115, no. 125 (illustrated).
New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Summer Loan Exhibition: Paintings Drawings and Sculpture from Private Collections, 1966, no. 50.
Special notice
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in the outcome of the sale of certain lots consigned for sale. This will usually be where it has guaranteed to the Seller that whatever the outcome of the auction, the Seller will receive a minimum sale price for the work. This is known as a minimum price guarantee. This is such a lot.

Lot Essay

Towards the end of his life, Dufy wistfully recalled his early, and abiding, preoccupations: "My youth was cradled by music and the sea" (quoted in D. Perez-Tibi, Dufy, New York, 1989, p. 12). Indeed, Dufy grew up and created many of his earliest pictures by the sea, in his native city of Le Havre and its environs. The sights of the bustling port city, as well as the promenade and strand at nearby Saint-Adresse, were instrumental in the development of his celebrated paintings of 1905-1906. These pictures marked his first full-fledged achievement as a modernist, and his debut as a colorist of exceptional daring and skill.
Although aware of its limitations, until 1905 Dufy remained faithful to Impressionism. It was only after seeing Henri Matisse's Luxe, calme et volupté at the Salon d'Automne that the young artist was converted to the vivid, planar Fauve style. As he stood before this picture, "Impressionist realism lost all its charm...I immediately understood the mechanics of the new painting" (quoted in ibid., p. 19).
Dufy, having visited Druet's major exhibition of Paul Signac's work in December 1904, was already familiar with the technique of divisionism. "What I wanted to do, was to carry my investigation further than those of the Impressionists. The Impressionists looked for the inter-relationships of flecks and patches of colour, and that in itself was good. Now, however, we had something more than the satisfaction of vision alone; we needed to create the world of unseen things" (the artist quoted in M. Brion, Raoul Dufy, Paintings and Watercolors, New York, 1958, p. 9). John Elderfield comments on the time Dufy, accompanied by Albert Marquet, worked on the Channel coast during 1905 and the summer of 1905 at Trouville, Honfleur, Sainte-Adresse and Le Havre: "When Dufy looked to the ocean for his subjects his spatially floating colorism was further developed in the isolated arcs, curves and even circles he began to use. These led through the marines and landscapes of 1907 to some remarkable café scenes of 1908" (The Wild Beasts, Fauvism and its Affinities, exh. cat., The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1976, p. 78).

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