Friday, June 01, 2012

Arty Farty Friday ~ Raoul Dufy

Some painters paint out their demons, their fear, insecurities and their stress, others paint their love and celebration of life. Raoul Dufy was one of the latter. His words: "My eyes were made to erase all that is ugly...... What I wish to show when I paint is the way I see things with my eyes and in my heart." His work is not universally praised by critics, some see him as a lightweight . Light is good! There's enough doom and gloom to go around and still enough for second helpings. An artist whose aim seems to have been to lift his own and his audience's spririts is to be treasured.
(Above: Henley Regatta, England.)

Raoul Dufy was born on 3 June 1877, in Le Havre, northern France, into a family of modest means, and nine children. He took art classes inbetween learning a trade to help family finances. After military service he won a scholarship in 1900 to study at Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

He flirted with styles as diverse as fauvism, cubism and impressionism. Around 1910 he began to diversify into book illustration, prints, textile design (he corraborated with fashion designer Paul Poiret), stage sets, tapestries and ceramics.

By the 1920s he had found a style all his own, a style which reflected his own nature - a man said to have innate serenity and joie de vivre. He painted people having fun, on the beach, in boats, at the races, gardens, music....... His work isn't obsessively detailed, it has the colourful feel of warmth, joyful spontaneity and enthusiasm.

Regatta at Cowes (England)

La Fée Électricité...In 1936-1937, in Paris, Dufy produced La Fée Électricité for the Electricity Pavilion at the International Exhibition. This allegory retraces the history of light, bringing together all the painter’s favourite themes: countryside, seaside, mythology, music, etc. ... The work, which was for a long time the largest painting in the world (624 m²) can now be seen at the Paris Museum of Modern Art.
(See here)

In 1952 Dufy was awarded the Grand Prix at the Venice Biennial. In 1953 he settled in Forcalquier, where he died that year.

This video beautifully illustrates Dufy's work:


Birth data from Astrodatabank.

Sun, Mercury and Venus all in Airy, versatile Gemini. this artist was certainly versatile, having dabbled in textiles, stage design, ceramics, book illustration and several different art styles.

Mars in quirky Aquarius harmoniously trines Venus the artist's planet, and opposes Aquarius's ruler Uranus. There's an undeniable quirkiness to Dufy's paintings - possibly this was what critics found to be questionable, but people in general found to be uplifting?

Neptune (creativity) in Venus-ruled Taurus forms an harmonious trine to happy-go-lucky Jupiter in Capricorn - an Earthy trine linking joyful Jupiter to creative Neptune, nicely reflecting the innate joie de vivre people sense from his paintings.

Moon in Pisces (ruler = Neptune) may link to Dufy's obvious love of boats and the ocean.


Anonymous said...

GP: Dufy certainly enjoyed himself in life - reflected in his `light` style of painting. Appeals to whom likes decoration.

Twilight said...

Anon/Gian Paul ~~

Yes - Airy and light: Geminian style, paintbrush dancing across the canvas with a smile on its face, chit-chattering all the while. ;-)

Normandy Thenandnow said...

A very interesting review, thank you. I certainly recommend visiting the Palais de Tokyo in Paris to see the Electric Fairy mural if at all possible. Beautiful and the scale!
It was visiting the mural that led me to hear about his brother Jean's work, have you seen it? Was it ignored because it was similar? Had you heard he helped with the mural?
More here about their tricky relationship and some pics.

Twilight said...

Normandy Thenandnow ~
Hi there! Thank you for your visit and for commenting. I'd love to visit Palais de Tokyo, Paris, but sadly it'll not be possible in this lifetime, too far from where I now live: Oklahoma USA; too expensive and awkward to get there - but thank you for drawing attention to your article and blog. I enjoyed reading your piece, and expanding my knowledge as to the bitterness between the brothers, and what occasioned it. What a great pity that was!