Reception mondaine, 1941
Signed and dated 'Raoul Dufy 1941' bottom right
Gouache on paper
19 1/4 x 25 5/8 in, 49 x 65 cm
Raoul Dufy was fascinated by the gatherings and receptions of the bourgeoisie at play. The pomp and ceremony of such events with their elegant costumes, constant chatter and raucous music,...
Raoul Dufy was fascinated by the gatherings and receptions of the bourgeoisie at play. The pomp and ceremony of such events with their elegant costumes, constant chatter and raucous music, created a vibrant atmosphere of dazzling colours, lights and sounds, which provided the perfect inspiration for his work.
Created in 1941, ‘Reception mondaine’ is part of a series of gouaches depicting jubilant formal reception scenes Dufy made between 1930 - 1935, and into the early 1940s. These images reimagined an earlier set of tapestries and murals from 1925. Paul Poiret commissioned Dufy to make a set of fourteen tapestries for his presentation at Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs on three lavish barges. While Matisse decorated the ‘Amour’ barge, Dufy’s tapestries of high society and fashion scenes were hung in the ‘Orgues’ barge which had been transformed into a catwalk.
During the period of creating ‘Reception mondaine’, Dufy experimented with vertical and horizontal blocks of vibrant colour that flowed beyond the edges of the boldly outlined figures. In ‘Reception mondaine’, the shock of crimson, blue and yellow, used to highlight the uniforms of the officers and fashionably-dressed men and women, reveal the artist’s interest in the effects of colour and light, and the evolution of his ‘couleur-lumiere’ theory: "Light is the soul of colour, without light, colour is lifeless”.
Jacques Dubourg, Paris
Palais Galliéra, Paris, 27 November 1974, lot 9
Moulin de Vauboyen,
Bièvres, Centre Artistique et Culturel, Raoul Dufy, 1968, no.39
Guillon-Lafaille, Raoul Dufy: catalogue raisonné des aquarelles, gouaches et
pastels, Editions Louis Carré & Cie, Paris 1982, no.1604, p.197, illus.