Lot 29
  • 29

Raoul Dufy

200,000 - 300,000 USD
400,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Raoul Dufy
  • Jockeys et turfistes à Epsom
  • Signed Raoul Dufy (lower left)
  • Gouache and watercolor on paper


Alex. Reid & Lefevre (The Lefevre Gallery), London (by at least 1943)
M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York
Mr. and Mrs. John Hay Whitney (acquired from the above before 1951)


London, Alex. Reid & Lefevre (The Lefevre Gallery), Picasso and his Contemporaries, 1943 (titled Goodwood)
Saratoga, New York, National Museum of Racing, A Selection of Equestrian Art from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. John Hay Whitney, 1989, no. 7 (titled Races at Goodwood)


Fanny Guillon-Laffaille, Raoul Dufy Catalogue raisonné des aquarelles, gouaches et pastels, vol. I, Paris, 1981, no. 1008, illustrated p. 368

Catalogue Note

The compositional balance Dufy achieved in Chevaux, Jockeys et turfistes à Epsom expounds his technique of couleur-lumière, in which black and white recede and color is propelled to the foreground.  While the stadium seating in the background of the present work is nearly devoid of color, Dufy has defined the foreground with a vast plane of emerald green.   As a result, the crowded stadium appears in the distance, and the eye is drawn to the activity taking place in the foreground.  The bold geometricity of the British flag and the signs on the left complement the loose brushwork Dufy employed in the rest of the work, anchoring the composition and emphasizing the dynamic energy which pervades the rest of the scene.  Meanwhile, the bright hues defining the fashionably dressed crowd on the lawn and the jockey in the center of the composition are projected toward the viewer, giving this work a marvellous sense of dimensionality. 

The colorful dress, shaded stadiums, and broad expanses of lawn at the racecourses of Europe provided Dufy with ample opportunities to develop his color theory.  As Dora Perez-Tibi has explained, “These race-course scenes – whether in France, at Deauville, Longchamp or Chantilly or, in England, at Epsom, Ascot or Goodwood – allowed Dufy to put his ‘couleur-lumière’ theory into practice.  When the light ran parallel to the earth he observed that it struck the vertically represented object from one side only, while the other side remained in shadow.  He decided to convey light by means of colour; the absence of colour characterizes the unlit area…For Dufy, the balance of the composition comes from the distribution of all the points of light in the centre of each element of the painting. It was here that he found the secret of his composition” (Dora Perez-Tibi, Dufy, New York, 1989, pp. 158-162).