History And Context


In 1905, deeply affected by Matisse’s painting Luxe, calme et volupté, 1904, Raoul Dufy began his lifelong exploration of color and line, joining the fauve pursuit of a freer technique that liberated both elements from descriptive function. Subsequent study of Cézanne and work with Braque brought greater structure to his compositions.

As early as 1930, Duncan Phillips had written of the “skill and bravura” of Dufy’s painting, and of the keen understanding of the “narrow path of technical discipline” that lay behind Dufy’s finesse. The Opera, Paris was shown in the 1941 Phillips exhibition “The Functions of Color” in a grouping that included Charles Burchfield, Stuart Davis, Karl Knaths, and John Marin; it was intended to demonstrate “Calligraphic Color and Color in Calligraphy.” Phillips likened Dufy’s work to oriental art and French impressionism, because of the “ornamental continuity of the lines” and its “form-dissolving prismatic light.”

More Works by Raoul Dufy In the Collection


The Artist's Studio
Raoul Dufy
1935
Chateau and Horses
Raoul Dufy
1930
Epsom
Raoul Dufy
1935

Joinville
Raoul Dufy
1938
The Opera, Paris
Raoul Dufy
early 1930s
Polo
Raoul Dufy
ca. 1930

Seaside Motifs
Raoul Dufy
1928
Versailles
Raoul Dufy
ca. 1936
Portrait of Fleuret
Raoul Dufy
ca. 1920