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Who is Raoul Dufy?

08 January 2016

A French painter and designer, Raoul Dufy was best known for his brightly coloured and highly decorative scenes of luxury and pleasure and inspired a wide range of fine and decorative artists with his playful styles.

"The subject itself is of no account; what matters is the way it is presented"

Born in Le Havre on June 3rd 1877, Dufy drew inspiration from Impressionists Camille Pissarro and Claude Monet and was one of the more controversial contributors to the Fauvism movement. Fauvism is widely regarded as the first significant and experimental European art in the twentieth century. The works of the Fauves are characterised by distorted figures and landscapes composed of unnaturally bold, vivid colour schemes, which is notable in Dufy's work. 

"A painted landscape is not nature anyway. Art is a creation" 

 He was extraordinarily optimistic and this is evident in his paintings. He understood the world in terms of decorative art so it’s little wonder he has ended up in 55MAX’s best selling Platinum collection. 

Producing more than 3,000 works during his life, Dufy did not limit himself only to paintings. He turned his attention to textile design for a while and In 1910 he produced a series of woodcuts to illustrate poet Guillaume Apollinaire's Bestiary.

"I don't follow any system. All the laws you can lay down are only so many props to be cast aside when the hour of creation arrives

Dufy also acquired a reputation as an illustrator and as a commercial artist. He painted murals for public buildings and also produced a huge number of tapestries and ceramic designs. But he soon redirected himself back to painting and began to produce what is now known to be some of his best known work.

In 1952 he received the grand prize for painting in the 26th Venice Biennale (an arts organisation based in Venice) but sadly passed away the following year on 23 March 1953. He was buried in the Cimiez Monastery, a suburb near the city of Nice.