Raoul Dufy: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Raoul Dufy.

  • Raoul Dufy was a French painter, furniture designer and print maker. He is best known for his paintings of open air social events, many in what is called the Fauvist style.
  • The Fauves (wild beasts) focused on strong colours and bold outlines in their paintings. The art movement only lasted a few years, and was led by Henri Matisse.

  • Dufy was born in 1877 in Normandy, France. He left school to work in the coffee industry at 14, and took evening art classes at the local school when he was 18.
  • In 1900 he won a scholarship to the Beaux Arts School in Paris, after finishing a year training in the military. He exhibited his paintings in 1901 and again in 1903.
  • Raoul Dufy was strongly influenced by another famous artist of the time, Henri Matisse. He was also influenced by the Cubist and Impressionist painters, and briefly adopted their styles.
  • Raoul Dufy liked to paint beach scenes in his native Normandy, France. He also painted scenes of the fashionable South of France, including crowded beaches, yachts and parties.
  • Some of his early works include The Popular Dance, The Bathers and The Olive Trees. His 1905 painting Le Havre 14 July, sold for almost 2 million pounds in 2008.
  • La Fee Electricite was painted by Raoul Dufy for the 1937 Arts and Technology Exhibition. It is one of the largest paintings ever created, measuring about 624 square metres.
  • Dufy was a talented commercial artist and illustrator, and painted murals for public buildings.
  • His illustrations were published in books by Andre Gide and other well-known French writers.
  • Raoul Dufy died in March 1953, having suffered from arthritis for several years. He was buried in the Cimiez Monastery cemetery in Nice, France, and the following year, his friend Henri Matisse was buried nearby.

What next? Discover more facts about other famous artists by visiting our artists resources page.

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