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Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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London

Raoul Dufy
1877 - 1953
RÉGATES (LE BASSIN DE DEAUVILLE)
signed Raoul Dufy and dated 1938 (towards lower centre)
oil on canvas
33.2 by 82cm., 13 by 32 1/4 in.
Painted in 1938.
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Provenance

Dr Maurice Girardin, Paris
Madame Girardin, Paris (by descent from the above)
Sale: Tajan, Paris, 8th June 2011, lot 20
Richard Green Gallery, London
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2014

Exhibited

Paris, Galerie Europe, Hommage à Raoul Dufy, 1967, no. 14, illustrated in the catalogue
London, Richard Green Gallery, La Vie en Rose. French Paintings 1840-1940, 2011, no. 31, illustrated in colour in the catalogue

Literature

Maurice Laffaille, Raoul Dufy, Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint, Geneva, 1973, vol. II, no. 898, illustrated p. 370

Catalogue Note

Striking for its vivid colours and dynamic brushwork, the present work captures the light and movement of the harbour at Deauville, otherwise known as the Parisian Riviera. In the foreground, the cerulean blues and greens create a sense of the water’s movement, whilst in the background, the bright orange-reds of the roofs catch the viewer’s eye. In Dufy’s œuvre, ‘colour indicates foliage or sea or sky in broad washes deployed with the utmost precision’ (Raoul Dufy 1877-1953, (exhibition catalogue), Hayward Gallery, London, 1984, p.18).

Painted in 1938, on the cusp of the Second World War, the present work is suffused with light, the wind gently rippling the sails of the boats. As the critic Bryan Robertson writes: ‘Dufy’s combination of fast speed through line and attack with vivid colour is by its nature free of nostalgia, a crucial twentieth-century freedom in art, and in Dufy’s art the combination of forces hits a modern nerve with special gaiety, verve and spiritual vibration’ (ibid. p. 18).

Deauville was one of Dufy’s preferred settings for his works, in which the town’s regattas and racecourses often featured. The sailing boat, with billowing sails, as in the present work, was also an important subject for Dufy, and is one which the artist frequently returned to within his paintings. Here the boat also can be seen to take on a symbolic role, as ‘a potent symbol of exotic, faraway countries and long voyages’ (ibid p. 18).

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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