Dufy, Raoul (1877-1953)

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Dufy was a French painter, illustrator and designer. He initially started a career in commerce but in 1892 began attending evening classes at the municipal Ecole des Beaux Arts. In 1900 he was awarded a scholarship, studying in Paris for four years under Bonnat at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. At first he was influenced by impressionism, but from 1905 he became more interested in the Fauve style of Matisse and began to work with richer colours. Dufy’s first solo-exhibition was held in 1906 at the Galerie Berthe Weill in Paris. He set up a small factory around 1911, designing and printing fabrics for the courturier Poiret. He painted regattas, concerts, landscapes and racecourses in brilliant colours using calligraphic brushwork. Dufy decorated ceramics by Artigas 1923-30 and illustrated various books with woodcuts, lithographs and etchings. Dufy painted a huge mural of ‘Electricity’’ for the 1937 Paris International Exhibition. In 1952 he was awarded the main painting prize at the Venice Biennale.