Raoul Dufy, ‘Nu sur fond jaune (La Javannaise)’, 1930, Grob Gallery

With only a few figures and colours, "Nu sur fond jaune" represents how Dufy contributed to the art of painting through his alternative way of transfiguring the world into images reflecting a transcendent realism in tonal colours and percussive strokes of the brush.

This female figure is like a sketch, an idea, a blank page and is alone. Dufy engages painting with drawing, thus "Nu sur fond jaune" looks like a colored motif. What comes out is the joy the eyes find in following lines of the human body that are visible only when the body is naked. The model is posing in front of a plain background as done in fashion photographs. Her pose as constructed by the position of her hands and feet is of someone checking the fit of a dress in the mirror. All the attention is focused on the center of the body. The model's nudity suggests that Dufy used his imagination to take off the clothes in the course of painting. This produces a playfully nude effect.

"My eyes are made to erase all that is ugly" says Dufy, suggesting that for him the human body is more beautiful than any outfit. The rough and alternative harmony in the nudity of "Nu sur fond jaune" is created by the free treatment of the human form which results in a decorative effect.

Signature: Signed and dated lower left "Raoul Dufy, 1930"

About Raoul Dufy

Fauvist painter, draftsman, and printmaker Raoul Dufy inspired a wide range of fine and decorative artists with his playful style and appealing subject matter. Dufy drew inspiration from Impressionists Camille Pissarro and Claude Monet and closely studied the works of Paul Cézanne and Henri Matisse. He typically painted leisure scenes, seascapes (often of the French Riviera), and domestic interiors, as in Artist’s Studio in Vence, a vibrant red scene recalling Matisse’s own rendition of the same subject. After 1920, Dufy engaged more closely with the work of Cézanne and Pablo Picasso, flattening and deconstructing his compositions and creating portraits in the African-mask inflected manner typical of Picasso’s own Cubist work, as in Little Bather at Ste. Adress (1932-33). Also a commercial illustrator, Dufy’s works were included in books by writers Guillaume Apollinaire and Stéphane Mallarmé.

French, 1887-1953, Le Havre, France, based in Forcalquier, France