1877-1953 | French
La Réception à l'Amirauté
(Reception at the Admiralty)
Signed “Raoul Dufy” (lower center)
Gouache on paper
Naval officers and their glamorously gowned guests mingle in this vibrant scene by the renowned Raoul Dufy. The celebration’s joie de vivre and energetic atmosphere are perfectly translated through Dufy’s vivacious experiments in color and movement, as well as his experimentations with what he termed couleur-lumière. Flashes of brilliant crimson and gleaming yellow highlight the uniforms of the officers and costumes of the fashionably-dressed women, creating vivid planes of colors that captivate the viewer. The resulting work is colorful and full of vigor, displaying the bright fluidity for which Dufy is so loved.
The spectacle of the reception was the subject of a series of works composed by the artist between 1930 and 1935, which reimagined an earlier motif from 1925 when Dufy composed a series of frescoes for the celebrated fashion designer Paul Poiret. Enamored with the pieces, Poiret displayed Dufy’s compositions at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes alongside his much lauded couture collection. The present piece shares both its name and subject with the sixth fresco from Poiret’s series, which is currently in the collection of the Centre Pompidou (Paris).
Born in La Havre, Normandy, both Dufy and his brother Jean showed a talent for drawing at an early age. He would eventually enroll in the École d'Art in La Havre, and later, the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. After viewing Matisse's Luxe, Calme et Volupte in 1904, Dufy adopted the bright color and flat compositions of the Fauvists. By 1909, the artist sought more austerity in his painting, and he became drawn to the works of Cézanne and the Cubists. From this point forward, Dufy's compositions presented a blend of the ideals upheld by these two artistic groups. His use of bold lines and colors, dynamic brushstrokes and other painterly qualities found in his paintings are a testament to his unique Expressionist ideals.
This work will be included in the forthcoming Catalogue raisonné des aquarelles, gouaches et pastels by Raoul Dufy being prepared by Fanny Guillon-Laffaille and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity dated May 12, 2005.
Canvas: 19 3/4" high x 26" wide
Frame: 28 3/4" high x 34 3/4" wide
Raoul Dufy: A Spectacle of Society, October 20 – December 23, 2016, Connaught Brown, London
||34 3/4"W x 28 3/4"H
||26"W x 19 3/4"H
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