Ascot, le Pesage , 1931 by Raoul Dufy


Ascot, le Pesage , 1931


Raoul Dufy

Ref GM3132
Type Fine Art Print
Image Size 27" x 11" (68 x 28 cm)
Price Add to basket
Dufy first approached the subject of horse racing as early as 1913, but by the 1920s it had become a central theme in his oeuvre. The range of bright colours and the vibrant energy at these events appealed to the artist. Encouraged by his friend the designer Paul Poiret, Dufy initially concentrated his attentions on the fashionable dress and interactions of the sociable crowd in and around the races. He was subsequently drawn to the exhilarating atmosphere surrounding the race itself. In terms of artistic style, after dabbling in Fauvism and Cubism Dufy developed his own distinctive approach. As seen here, it involved skeletal structures, arranged with foreshortened perspective, and use of thin washes of colour applied quickly in a manner that came to be known as stenographic. While the sketch-like quality of this painting might suggest Dufy made it in just a few minutes, nothing could be further from the truth. He would go out and sketch a scene and then, in the quiet of his studio, use his drawings to work on the painting. His real challenge was to keep the immediacy, spontaneity and movement of his sketches in the finished piece. Raoul Dufy was a painter of joy: his style, his subject matter, and his light, bright colours reflect a joy in life and in creating works which impart to the viewer a sensuous delight. Deeply rooted in the French decorative tradition, he was an amused observer and recorder of the fashionable world around him. The wit and elegance of Dufy’s calligraphic draughtsmanship, combined with a magnificent control of intense colour harmonies, give his work its characteristic style. Ascot, Le Paysage is a perfect example of Dufy’s extraordinary ability to convey the vibrant atmosphere that pervades the social spectacle of horse racing.