Raoul Dufy

Trouville-sur-Mer – The Artists – Dufy, Raoul

This page forms part of a series of pages dedicated to the many artists who worked in Trouville-sur-Mer. A full list of all the artists with a link to their works can be found at the bottom of this page.

Raoul Dufy
Raoul Dufy

Movement(s): Cubism, Fauvism, Impressionism, Modernism

Raoul Dufy (1877 – 1953) was a French Fauvist painter, brother of Jean Dufy. He developed a colorful, decorative style that became fashionable for designs of ceramics and textiles, as well as decorative schemes for public buildings. He is noted for scenes of open-air social events. He was also a draftsman, printmaker, book illustrator, scenic designer, a designer of furniture, and a planner of public spaces.

Raoul Dufy was born into a large family at Le Havre, in Normandy. He left school at the age of fourteen to work in a coffee-importing company. In 1895, when he was 18, he started taking evening classes in art at Le Havre’s École des Beaux-Arts (municipal art school).

The classes were taught by Charles L’Huillier, who had been, forty years earlier, a student of the French portrait-painter, Ingres. There, Dufy met Raimond Lecourt and Othon Friesz with whom he later shared a studio in Montmartre and to whom he remained a lifelong friend (he also met the de Saint-Delis brothers there, Henri de Saint-Delis and Rene de Saint-Delis). During this period, Dufy painted mostly Norman landscapes in watercolors.

In 1900, after a year of military service, Dufy won a scholarship to the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where again he crossed paths with Othon Friesz. He concentrated on improving his drawing skills. The impressionist landscape painters, such as Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro, influenced Dufy profoundly. His first exhibition (at the Exhibition of French Artists) took place in 1901.

Introduced to Berthe Weill in 1902, Dufy showed his work in her gallery. Then he exhibited again in 1903 at the Salon des Indépendants. A boost to his confidence: the painter, Maurice Denis, bought one of his paintings. Dufy continued to paint, often in the vicinity of Le Havre, and, in particular, on the beach at Sainte-Adresse, made famous by Eugene Boudin and Claude Monet. In 1904, with his friend, Albert Marquet, he worked in Fecamp on the English Channel (La Manche).

By 1950, his hands were struck with rheumatoid arthritis and his ability to paint diminished, as he had to fasten the brush to his hand. In April he went to Boston to undergo an experimental treatment with cortisone and corticotropin, based on the work of Philip S. Hench.

It proved successful, and some of his next works were dedicated to the doctors and researchers in the United States. In 1952 he received the grand prize for painting in the 26th Venice Biennale.

Dufy died at Forcalquier, France, on 23 March 1953, of intestinal bleeding, which was a likely result of his continuous treatment. He was buried near Matisse in the Cimiez Monastery Cemetery in Cimiez, a suburb of the city of Nice.

Click here to read Raoul Dufy’s full bio on Wikipedia.

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1905 - Raoul Dufy - The Beach and Pier at Trouville
1905 – Raoul Dufy – The Beach and Pier at Trouville
1906 - Raoul Dufy - The billboards of Trouville
1906 – Raoul Dufy – The billboards of Trouville
1907 - Raoul Dufy - Trouville
1907 – Raoul Dufy – Trouville

TODAY: There are still many villas alongside the beach promenade, some enormous, but many have been converted into apartments.

1929 - Raoul Dufy - The Jetties of Trouville/Deauville
1929 – Raoul Dufy – The Jetties of Trouville/Deauville

TODAY: The twin lighthouses are still there, the left one is in Deauville, the right one in Trouville.

1933 - Raoul Dufy - Houses in Trouville
1933 – Raoul Dufy – Houses in Trouville
1935 - Raoul Dufy - Regatta at Trouville
1935 – Raoul Dufy – Regatta at Trouville
1938 - Raoul Dufy - Fireworks at Trouville
1938 – Raoul Dufy – Fireworks at Trouville
???? - Raoul Dufy - Trouville
???? – Raoul Dufy – Trouville

Villerville

The village of Villerville (population: 700) lies to the North of Trouville-sur-Mer along the coast.

1928 - Raoul Dufy - The fence at Villerville
1928 – Raoul Dufy – The fence at Villerville
1928 - Raoul Dufy - Villerville
1928 – Raoul Dufy – Villerville
1935 - Raoul Dufy - Villerville
1935 – Raoul Dufy – Villerville

Raoul Dufy painted in several places in France (but notably in Normandy), the list is shown below (a link “” to the works for each city will appear below when published):

Trouville-sur-Mer has been an in-spot for artists and wealthy patrons. Located next to Deauville and sharing the same railway station,many artists came here to work and mingle with the high-societe folks.

Here is a list of artists who working in Trouville (a link “⇠” to that artist’s works will appear when published). An “*” after an artist’s name means that the artist did not work in Trouville itself, but in a nearby town.

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Today: Many villas alongside the Trouville beach promenade
Today: Many villas alongside the Trouville beach promenade
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Today: Trouville-sur-Mer twin lighthouses and piers
Today: Trouville-sur-Mer twin lighthouses and piers
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