234
234

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, GREENWICH, CONNECTICUT

Raoul Dufy
COURSES À ASCOT
Estimate
200,000300,000
JUMP TO LOT
234

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, GREENWICH, CONNECTICUT

Raoul Dufy
COURSES À ASCOT
Estimate
200,000300,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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Raoul Dufy
1877 - 1953
COURSES À ASCOT
Signed Raoul Dufy, titled Ascot and dated 18th June 1930 (lower left)
Watercolor on paper
19 7/8 by 26 in.
50.5 by 66 cm
Executed on June 18, 1930. 
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Fanny Guillon-Laffaille has kindly confirmed the authenticity of this work which will be included in her forthcoming supplement to the catalogue raisonné of Watercolors, Gouaches and Pastels currently in preparation.

Provenance

Private Collection, Europe (acquired from the artist before 1931)
Private Collection, New York (by descent from the above and sold: Sotheby's, New York, November 8, 2007, lot 419)
Acquired at the above sale

Exhibited

Bucharest, Fondation Dalles, La Peinture française moderne, 1935, no. 24

Catalogue Note

Dufy is famous for revisiting themes, but as Raymond Cogniat argues convincingly, these “pictures are not different versions of the same subject but another harmony, another combination of rhythms, of which the subject is only the starting point” (Raymond Cogniat, Paintings and Drawings by Raoul Dufy (exhibition catalogue), Tate Britain, London, 1954, n.p.). Dufy’s approach could not be more different to that of Monet, who diligently recorded the atmospheric effects on a single subject, willingly submitting to “ideas dictated by circumstances of light or temperature, things outside himself, whereas Dufy imposes on a picture his individual and personal vision” (Raymond Cogniat, ibid., n.p.). The present work is a case in point: torrential rain on June 18, 1930 flooded the course and caused the program to be abandoned for the rest of the day, with photographs recording the sea of umbrellas and press reports of lightning strikes. The clouds in the present work allude perhaps to inclement weather but it is the pace of the racehorses that drives the momentum of the characteristically bright composition.

If the Impressionists’ fastidious attention to natural light did not interest him, the obsession with society and fashion at Ascot interested him even less. “Friends who accompanied Dufy on his earliest expeditions to the racecourse in the twenties...all speak of the way in which he was more interested in the horses' and jockeys' colours than he was in the people, smart or otherwise. Gradually, in Dufy's racecourse scenes...everything is again given up to the crisp, jaunty interaction between green turf, red brick buildings, white railings, multi-coloured crowds, green trees against blue sky with sprightly puffs of clouds" (Bryan Robertson, "An Introduction to Raoul Dufy," in Raoul Dufy 1877-1953 (exhibition catalogue), Hayward Gallery, London, 1983, n.p.).

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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