Raoul Dufy was a French Fauvist painter. He developed a colourful, 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.
His working life began at the age of 14 in a coffee-importing company. Later he enrolled in a course of evening classes to study art. After the war, he won a scholarship to the Beaux Arts school in Paris, where he became friends with Braque, and was influenced by the impressionists.
Shortly after a series of successful selling exhibitions, he came under the influence of Matisse and later Cezanne, leading him to develop his own distinctive style involving skeletal structures, arranged with foreshortened perspective, and the use of thin washes of colour applied quickly. His cheerful oils and watercolours depict events of the time and period, including yachting scenes, sparkling views of the French Riviera , chic parties, and musical events. The decorative and illustrative nature of much of his work has meant that his output has been less highly valued critically than the works of artists who have addressed a wider range of social concerns.
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