Raoul Dufy was a French Fauvist painter best known for depicting recreational scenes, such as horse races and regattas.
Raoul Dufy was born in 1877 in Le Havre, Normandy. Though he practiced art at a young age, it was only after his military service that he settled in Paris and began to study painting under Léon Bonnat. After graduating, Dufy’s early career was spent perfecting his style. He engaged in Impressionism, adhered to the Fauve movement for three years and then experimented with Cubism. During this period of experimentation, it was Fauvism that was to have the biggest impact on Dufy’s career as it introduced him to the work of Paul Cézanne. Influenced by Cézanne’s compositions, Dufy found his style – producing rapid but precise drawings of frequently plunging perspectives.
Dufy’s nature was extraordinarily optimistic, a quality that was reflected in his airy paintings, fabrics and textiles, limited edition prints. Gaining prominence after the First World War, his decorative paintings of luxury and pleasure breathed new life to the arts scene and expressed an optimism that has remained popular, with his works (and signed books) fetching high prices to this day.