Jean Dufy (1888 - 1964)

A view from the Place de la Concord to the Assemblée National


A view from the Place de la Concord to the Assemblée National

oil on canvas
38 x 45.7 cm

Literature:
M. Jacques Bailly, Jean Dufy, Catalogue Raisonné of Jean Dufy's Work, p.191, no. B254

Jean Dufy came from a family of nine children brought up in an artistic and, especially, musical environment. By the age of 14 Dufy was painting stage sets for family plays; his talents were recognised and nurtured by his older brother Raoul and the latter's friend Othon Friesz. He travelled extensively in Western Europe and North Africa. He served in a cavalry regiment during World War I, but by 1920 he was back in Paris, where he exhibited examples of his painting at the Salon d'Automne, of which he was already a member. He produced designs for the silk factories in Lyons and for the porcelain works in Limoges.
Like his famous brother Raoul, Jean often painted views of Paris and other French cities. His purpose was to capture the overall impact of a scene rather than its uniqueness and individuality. Jean (himself a gifted classical guitarist and jazz musician) painted in a style that was smoother and more fluent than his brother’s, using deep blues interspersed with reds and greens, with points of yellow creating the effects of light. This work illustrates the artist’s debt to the achievements of Impressionism in its bold colour and immediacy of brushwork, but is in turn wholly representative of the École de Paris, that creative explosion of modern and highly stylized art in the early 20th century Paris.