Presented at Masterpiece by the Richard Green Gallery. RAOUL DUFY
Le Havre 1877 – 1953 Forcalquier
Epsom, la course
Signed lower right: Raoul Dufy
Oil on canvas: 15 x 18 ¼ in / 38.1 by 46.4 cm
Frame size: 22 x 24 ½ in / 55.9 x 62.2 cm
Painted in 1933
Excellent Provenance:Raoul Dufy was influenced both by the Fauves and the German Expressionists in his use of colour as an emotional medium divorced from a strict adherence to appearances. Slavish truth to nature was less important than evoking a ‘shorthand of the essential’ through a poetic universe of emblems. Among his favourite themes were regattas and seaside views, and horseracing.
Dufy’s fascination with racing grew out of his collaboration with the couturier Paul Poiret, who commissioned him to design textile patterns and stationery. Dufy’s paddock watercolours of around 1913 concentrate on the fashionable women in their Poiret dresses and the dandies who accompanied them to the Deauville races. This theme was expanded in the 1920s, with frieze-like compositions of Poiret models enjoying the pleasures of the Turf. From the 1930s Dufy spent much time in England and mingled with high society at Epsom and Ascot. He explored the energy of the horse race, the explosion of colour, light, movement and pattern-making which gives Epsom, la course its intensity.
Seen from a bird’s eye view, the pounding horses have an iconic quality which echoes all the way back to the wild horses of the Lascaux caves. With thanks courtesy Richard Green Gallery. 147 New Bond St. London W1