Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale


Raoul Dufy
1877 - 1953
signed Raoul Dufy (towards lower left)
oil on canvas
38 by 92.5cm., 15 by 13in.
Painted circa 1930-35.
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Sale: Ader-Picard-Tajan, Paris, 18th November 1989, lot 108
Private Collection, Europe (purchased at the above sale; sale: Christie's, New York, 9th November 2000, lot 234)
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner


Geneva, Musée d'Art et d'Histoire, Raoul Dufy, 1952, no. 58, illustrated in the catalogue
Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glypotek, Raoul DufyMalerier, Akvareller og Tegninger, 1953, no. 31
Honfleur, Hôtel de Ville, Hommage à Raoul Dufy, 1954, no. 36


Maurice Laffaille & Fanny Guillon-Laffaille, Raoul Dufy, Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint, Supplément, Paris, 1985, no. 1911, illustrated p. 80

Catalogue Note

Les Régates sous la pluie is a wonderful example of Raoul Dufy’s distinctive style, depicting regatta boats returning to port after the day’s joyful festivities. Dufy’s bold palette and gestural brushwork are indebted to the movement of Fauvism but his style is refreshingly unique due to the artist’s predilection for line drawing, which lends an illustration-like quality to his work. 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.

While regatta scenes enabled Dufy to evoke the jubilance of these seaside occasions, it importantly gave him the opportunity to relish the pursuit of capturing the scintillating effects of light and colour on water. In Les Régates sous la pluie, the sea is largely represented by a sweeping turquoise, yet the depth and ever-changing nature of the sea is evoked by different hues of blue, maroon, purple and white. Indeed, the transient sky, equally in a state of flux, is perfectly encapsulated by the rapid deft strokes of blue and grey which denote the moving clouds across the canvas. The present work has a playful character, enhanced by the spacious composition, which proudly displays the billowing crescent sails of the boats. Moreover, Les Régates sous la pluie exhibits Dufy’s effective approach to perspective and the illusion of space by making the viewer assume the position of spectator on the protruding pier: ‘He conceived his set as a window which allows a view from above, increasing the size of the stage and enabling the painter to extend his vision across the expanse of sea… allowing his imagination free reign, he enlivens the foreground’ (Dora-Perez-Tibi, Dufy, London, 1989, pp. 124-25). Dufy’s audacious painterly style creates a genuine sensation of pulsing waves and achieves a relatable reality and a feeling of fantastical charm.

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale