Dufy, The Red Violin

Raoul DUFY (1877-1953), The Red Violin, 1949, oil on canvas, 22.5 x 27.5 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / David Fogel — © ADAGP, Paris, 2013
Raoul DUFY (1877-1953)
The Red Violin
1949
oil on canvas
22.5 x 27.5 cm
© MuMa Le Havre / David Fogel — © ADAGP, Paris, 2013
HD image
Born into a family of music lovers, Raoul Dufy (1877–1953) produced his first depiction of the violin in 1909 with Homage to Mozart. His work gave music a true visual expression through his homages to great composers and in the violin series produced from 1945 to 1949. In his paintings, Dufy translated into colour the musical world of his favourite composers, Mozart, Bach and Debussy. In the last decade of his career, he abandoned the bright, shimmering colours he had employed with virtuosity until then to try his hand at "tonal" painting: moving away from brushstroke effects and contrasting colours, he pushed the intensity of a colour to its maximum and extended it to the composition as a whole.

The Red Violin is without contest the most abstract version in the series, associating the score and the instrument placed at an angle with a colour. The basic design of the two trapezoids—the table and the score—is offset by the delicately balanced curves of the violin. The decor is minimalist and rectilinear, with the colour red invading most of the space. Freeing himself from the constraints of Realism, Dufy delivers his own interpretation of the imaginary world of colour. The red teamed with the violin and the score evokes the music of Mozart or Bach. While it appeared as a decorative feature in the studio series of the 1930s, as with Studio at L'Impasse de Guelma (Paris, Musée National d'Art Moderne), the violin became an independent motif in 1948.

Artworks in context : Raoul Dufy (5)

Raoul DUFY (1877-1953), Vase with Bathers and Swans, 1930, ceramic, h. : 29.5 cm / diam. : 29.5 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / Charles Maslard — © ADAGP, Paris, 2013
Raoul DUFY (1877-1953), Jeanne with Flowers, 1907, oil on canvas, 90.5 x 77.5 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / David Fogel — © ADAGP, Paris, 2013
Raoul DUFY (1877-1953), Yacht with Flags at Le Havre, 1904, oil on canvas, 69 x 81 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / David Fogel — © ADAGP, Paris, 2013
Raoul DUFY (1877-1953), The Red Violin, 1949, oil on canvas, 22.5 x 27.5 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / David Fogel — © ADAGP, Paris, 2013
Raoul DUFY (1877-1953), The Pier and the Beach at Le Havre, ca. 1926, oil on canvas, 65.5 x 77.5 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / David Fogel — © ADAGP, Paris, 2013