Throughout the late 1920s Dufy travelled across France taking inspiration from the landscape around him. ‘L’atelier de l’artiste au Havre’ is an ode to his beloved hometown of Le Havre with its bustling port and fashionable promenade.
‘L’atelier de l’artiste au Havre’ is an exquisite example of Dufy’s bold use of colour and subject matter. During this period Dufy became more confident in his style, here perfectly melding the interior and exterior scenes into one exuberant depiction. The decoration of the window panes mimics those of the wrought iron railings, while the captivating blue of the sea floods the entire apartment. Dufy has transformed the image of an artist’s studio into a self portrait with both the depiction of himself and the painting itself being a representation of his artistic language.
Dufy’s series of nudes in the studio spanned twenty years (1927-47) and many locations including Guelma, Vence and Perpignan. This body of work is full of rich colours and decadent interiors inspired by his trips to Morocco and Spain in 1926. Clearly fixated upon the image of ‘L’atelier de l’artiste au Havre’ Dufy painted another version of the same title and year, which is now in the collection of Kunstmuseum Den Haag.
The present work was first in the collection of Hélène Hooper Brown and Lathrop Brown. Helene was a young heiress and great collector and patron of Dufy, while her husband Lathrop Brown was a close friend of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.