Sale: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 21st December 1926, no. 44
Mr & Mrs John Boulton, Caracas (purchased at the above sale)
Private Collection, Caracas (by descent from the above. Sold: Christie's, London, 3rd January 1965, lot 8)
Arthur Tooth & Sons, Ltd., London (purchased at the above sale)
Frieda Kittay Goldsmith, Palm Beach (acquired from the above in December 1965)
Private Collection, USA (by descent from the above. Sold: Christie's, New York, 7th November 2007, lot 371)
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner
Gaston Diehl, El Arte Moderno Frances en Caracas, Caracas, September 1959, illustrated no. 11
Maurice Laffaille, Raoul Dufy, Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint, Geneva, 1972, vol. I, no. 102, illustrated p. 95
La Rivière is an early example of Dufy's vibrant and distinct Fauve style. It was painted in 1905, a crucial year in the development of both Dufy's career and that of Post-Impressionist art. Dufy, a native of Le Havre, won a civic scholarship to study at the École des Beaux-Arts, and soon made contact with the avant-garde, exhibiting his work at the Salon des Indépendants as early as 1903. His painterly style, which was up to that point more akin with that of the Impressionists, was dramatically changed when he visited the Salon d'Automne in 1905, where Matisse, Derain and Vlaminck exhibited canvases bursting with colour and executed in a wildly expressive manner. The Fauve artists, as they became known, transformed the artistic landscape with their dramatic new style and modern subject matters.
Dufy's own individual style, exemplified by La Rivière, is rich with rhythmic colouration and highly expressive execution. This sun-bleached vista is enhanced by hatched brushstrokes that convey a wonderful sense of vitality to the composition. In their discussion of the importance of Dufy, Braque and Friesz's contribution to Fauvism, Alvin Martin and Judi Freeman suggested: 'The Norman Fauves found irresistible the full-blown Fauve manner of painting, characterized by highly saturated colour and the laying in of brilliant tones side by side, and they inevitably responded to it in their own work, produced back in their native Normandy' and that 'Dufy championed the Fauve cause most assiduously of the three artists... His paintings of 1905-6 seem to be invigorated by color' (A. Martin & J. Freeman, The Fauve Landscape (exhibition catalogue), Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, 1990, p. 221).
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