Lot 150
  • 150

Raoul Dufy

150,000 - 200,000 GBP
296,750 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Raoul Dufy
  • La Rentrée des régates
  • signed Raoul Dufy (towards lower left) and dated 1930 (lower centre)
  • oil on canvas


James Kirkman Ltd., London
Private Collection, Wales (acquired from the above in July 1981; sale: Sotheby's, London, 21st October 2003, lot 63)
Richard Green Gallery, London (purchased at the above sale)
Acquired from the above by the present owner


Paris, Galerie Max Kaganovitch, Œuvres récentes de Raoul Dufy, 1936, no. 11
London, The Lefevre Gallery (Alex. Reid & Lefevre), Raoul Dufy, 1936, no. 19
Glasgow, Alex. Reid & Lefevre, French Art of the 19th and 20th Centuries, 1937, no. 22
Montreal, W. Scott & Sons, Paintings by French Masters of 19th and 20th Centuries, 1937, no. 18
London, The Lefevre Gallery (Alex. Reid & Lefevre), L'Entente cordiale, 1939, no. 14


Marcelle Berr de Turique, Raoul Dufy, Paris, 1930, p. 174
L'Atlantique, May 1931
Maurice Laffaille, Raoul Dufy, Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint, Geneva, 1973, vol. II, no. 874, illustrated p. 357

Catalogue Note

In La Rentrée des régates, a delightful example of Raoul Dufy's distinct style, the artist depicts regatta boats returning to port after the day’s festivities. Boat races were a favourite theme in Dufy’s œuvre from as early as 1907, and he continued to draw inspiration from them throughout his career. Not only are the artist’s regatta scenes wonderfully evocative of those specific jubilant occasions, but more generally, they also provided Dufy the opportunity to reap the endless rewards of capturing the effects of glistening colour and light on a body of water. The present work, with its sweeping turquoises, bold limes and bottle greens, is an elegant example. Although Dufy repeatedly explored the regatta theme, the freshness of palette and unusually spacious composition of this painting - free from the typical frenzied swirl of masts and flags - imbues La Rentrée des régates with unique personality, whilst still retaining many characteristic motifs.     

Raymond Coignat remarks that Dufy’s paintings ‘are similar to poems, with a combination of words, the sounds of which are in harmony or are discordant’ (quoted in Raoul Dufy 1877-1953, (exhibition catalogue), Hayward Gallery, London, 1983, p. 6). In La Rentrée des régates, the varied rhythms of a joyful regatta are reflected in the contrast between broad green brushstrokes that stretch from foreground to horizon, and the billowing crescent sails of the boats; Dufy’s bold brushstrokes overlaid onto the greenish hues of the water, create a genuine sensation of pulsing waves and achieves a relatable reality and a feeling of fantastical charm.

Six years after it was painted, La Rentrée des régates was selected to be displayed in Dufy’s first London exhibition in 1936 at the Lefevre Gallery, certainly in great part due to its dynamic brushwork and joyous atmosphere: undeniable evidence of Dufy’s extraordinary flair as a colourist.