Lot 311
  • 311

Raoul Dufy

600,000 - 800,000 GBP
713,250 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Raoul Dufy
  • Les Régates
  • signed Raoul Dufy on the reverse
  • oil on canvas


Madame Raoul Dufy, Paris & Nice
Paul Poiret, Paris
J. Reynier
Private Collection
Josefowitz Collection (acquired by 1990)
Acquired by the present owner in September 2000


Paris, Galerie Beaux-Arts, Dufy, 1962, no. 17
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art; New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art & London, The Royal Academy of Arts, The Fauve Landscape, 1990-91
Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario (on loan)
Lyon, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, Musée de l'Imprimerie & Barcelona, Museu Picasso Museu Tèxtil ï d'Indumentaria, Raoul Dufy retrospective, 1999, no. 32, illustrated in colour in the catalogue


Pierre Courthon, Raoul Dufy, Geneva, 1951, illustrated pl. 63 (as dating from 1910)
Maurice Laffaille, Raoul Dufy, Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint, Geneva, 1972, vol. I, no. 171, illustrated p. 150

Catalogue Note

Les Régates is a remarkable example of Fauvism. Its vibrant palette and energetic execution is testament to the joie de vivre that characterised this short-lived but enduringly popular artistic movement. Painted in 1907-08, the present work is a product of the artist's most important and ground-breaking period. Though he was already painting beach scenes at Sainte-Adresse and Le Havre as early as 1901, it was not until the 1905 Salon des Indépendents, that Dufy saw Henri Matisse's Luxe, calme et volupté, and that his own art was imbued with a new energy and vibrancy, forming his trademark aesthetic.

Though the Fauves are often credited with inventing dynamism and colour, Dufy also actively went in search of it. In this respect, the bustling regatta proved to be the perfect subject matter, what with its colourful flags, flapping sails and jolly spectators. The viewer is invited to join the crowd on the promenade, pulled into a fashionable world of leisure and invigorating sea air. The rounded seafront, coupled with the curved pier act as visual sign posts, directing the viewer's eye up and around the scene, rather than simply left to right. The lack of central focal point is absolutely deliberate on Dufy's part, because the true subject of Les Régates is of course its dynamic energy.

There are two very closely related compositions to the present work, both housed in museum collections. Les Régates, 1907-08, is in the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris (fig. 1) and Les Régates- Les Canotiers, circa 1908-10, is in the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York.