Lot 60
  • 60

Raoul Dufy

Estimate
1,800,000 - 2,500,000 USD
Sold
2,629,000 USD
bidding is closed

Description

  • Raoul Dufy
  • Le Moulin de la Galette
  • Signed Raoul Dufy and inscribed d'après le tableau de Renoir (lower left)
  • Oil on canvas
  • 51 1/4 by 63 3/4 in.
  • 130 by 162 cm

Provenance

Louis Carré, Paris

Estate of Olga Carré, née Burel (sold: Piasa, Artcurial, Paris, December 9, 2002, lot 14)

Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

Exhibited

New York, Louis Carré Gallery, Raoul Dufy, 1951, no. 58

Paris, Galerie Louis Carré, Raoul Dufy, 1953, no. 8

Basel, Kunsthalle, Raoul Dufy, 1954, no. 81, illustrated in the catalogue pl. 16

Bern, Kunsthalle, Raoul Dufy, 1954, no. 48, illustrated in the catalogue

Albi, Musée Toulouse-Lautrec, Raoul Dufy, 1955, no. 38, illustrated in the catalogue pl. 19

Impressionist, A Centenary Exhibition (exhibition catalogue), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1974-75, mentioned p. 86

Literature

"Raoul Dufy," L'Amour de L'Art,Paris, 1953, illustrated p. 29

Jacques Lassaigne, Raoul Dufy, Geneva, 1954, illustrated in color p. 83

Maximilien Gauthier, Raoul Dufy, Paris, mentioned p. 24

Raymond Cogniat, Raoul Dufy, Paris,  illustrated in color p. 80

Maurice Laffaille, Raoul Dufy, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, vol. IV, Geneva, 1977, no. 1616, illustrated in color p. 175

Catalogue Note

Dufy's reprisal of Renoir's famed Au Moulin de la Galette is a powerful example of reinterpretation of an Impressionist masterwork for the modern age.  Painted in 1943, nearly seventy years after the Impressionist version, Dufy’s highly dynamic interpretation here retains much of the same charm, animation and spontaneity of Renoir's grand composition.  His approach to the composition, however, is distinctly his own, and this picture is now regarded as one of the most accomplished works of his mature career.

 The composition is named after the last standing windmill on the Butte de Montmartre, where the vibrant and festive atmosphere of the dance garden of the Bal Champêtre was first captured by Renoir in 1874.   At the time of its creation, Renoir was living and working just steps away in Montmartre, at 12 rue Cortot, and Dufy would move to this very address a quarter-century later.  A true hotbed for artistic creation and innovation at the turn of the century, this Parisian neighborhood was home to a number of artists from Picasso to Van Dongen. Indeed, Picasso himself created his own version of Renoir’s masterpiece in 1901, reversing the format of the composition and darkening his palette to reflect the sultry atmosphere of the demi-monde. Dufy, on the other hand, considered himself a painter of “color and light”, and invigorated his version of Moulin de la Galette with bright color, sweeping lines and dynamic movement.

Dufy, known to his contemporaries as "the enchanter,"  found inspiration in the way forms and colors were transformed by light, a theme which strongly resonated with many of this artistic forebearers. Dora Perez-Tibi noted that in his early years, "[Dufy] had become aware of the need to recreate observed reality in terms of his own "reality", and went on to elaborate his theory of "couleur-lumière", with which he experimented, and which he would apply to his entire œuvre."   Renoir's composition provided the ideal outlet for Dufy to channel this aesthetic concern.  Writing to Louis Carré in January 1943,  Dufy described his enthusiasm while working on this painting: “I am immersed in Le Moulin de la Galette; it is a true thesis on Renoir. I dissect it with passion and am building a new orchestration of the painting. This will be, I hope, quite surprising” (reprinted in J. Lassaigne, op. cit., p. 83). 

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