Cour de ferme, 'Vendredi', 1910
Signed with studio stamp
ink and wash on paper
10 3/8 x 12 1/4 in, 26.4 x 31.1 cm
Raoul Dufy began to develop his calligraphic brushwork and characteristically vibrant palette as a young artist working in Paris. Studying at the École des Beaux Arts, he was surrounded by...
Raoul Dufy began to develop his calligraphic brushwork and characteristically vibrant palette as a young artist working in Paris. Studying at the École des Beaux Arts, he was surrounded by the dynamic influences of Picasso, Matisse, Derain, Vlaminck and Marquet who were also under the sponsorship of the influential art dealer Berthe Weill.
This work from 1912 marks a dramatic shift in Dufy’s early practice. Having seen Matisse’s Luxe, Calme et Volupté at the Salon des Indépendents in 1905, Dufy established an immediate rapport with the artist and began to move progressively towards Fauvism. However, in 1907 an exhibition of Paul Cézanne’s structured compositions briefly urged Dufy towards a Cubist-inspired style. This experimental period of solid and monumental shapes was compounded by Dufy’s stay with Georges Braques in 1908 at L’Éstaque.
In 1910 Dufy began to experiment with woodcuts alongside fashion designer Paul Poiret. It was also during this time that he was working on a series of twenty six sharply witty woodcuts of animals for Guillaume Apollinaire’s first published set of poems: ‘Bestiary’. Apollinaire’s medieval-inspired interest in the symbolic and allegorical descriptions of animals provided a fascinating link between Dufy and the Fauves with the poetics of Cubism.
Dufy’s ‘Cour de Ferme, ‘Vendredi’’ follows this theme of the natural world with a lively portrayal of a farm in the rolling hills of the French countryside. The addition of ‘Vendredi’ indicates this work forms part of a series Dufy conceived around 1912 in which each ink drawing is labelled with a day of the week to record when it was made. While the colour palette is reduced, this ink drawing demonstrates the descriptive potential of line in Dufy’s work which was instilled in the decorative ceramics and textiles of his late career.
Connaught Brown, London
This work will be reproduced in the supplement of the Catalogue raisonné des aquarelles gouaches et pastels de Raoul Dufy, currently in preparation by Fanny Guillon-Lafaille