About This Artwork

Raoul Dufy
French, 1877–1953

Open Window, Nice, 1928

Oil on canvas
25 5/8 x 21 1/8 in. (65.1 x 53.7 cm)
Signed, l.r.: "Raoul Dufy"

Joseph Winterbotham Collection, 1937.166

© 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Raoul Dufy's work often draws comparison with that of Henri Matisse, and the two artists indeed had a number of things in common: they both worked on the Riviera, a circumstance that led them at times to treat very similar subjects (compare, for example, Matisse's Woman Standing at the Window of 1919, formerly in the Winterbotham Collection); they both went through a Fauvist phase and continued to give primacy to color in their subsequent work; and they both traveled to North Africa and were seduced by the lush, exotic patterns of that region. But in Dufy's work, an extraordinary facility often masks the traces of intellectual effort and intense experimentation so apparent in the art of Matisse. The mood in Dufy's paintings is one of unalloyed pleasure, and so unwaveringly is this mood sustained throughout his work that it has been said that "Dufy never painted a sad picture."

At his best, as in this superb example, Dufy displayed an unrivaled decorative sense, juggling with consummate skill broad areas of bold, saturated color (blue, red, green, yellow), a calligraphic line of great verve and fluidity, and an assured if carefree appreciation for the compositional liberties of modern painting. Dufy here brilliantly transformed the common modernist motif of the slanted, upturned tabletop (see, for example, Georges Braque's Still Life ) into an abstract circular shape that hovers magically at the joyous center of his composition. Its quiet, undisturbed surface contrasts markedly with the richly patterned areas that surround it, while its perfectly self-contained shape becomes a symbol for the state of sensual fulfillment embodied in this picture.

—Entry, Margherita Andreotti, Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies, Vol. 20, No. 2, The Joseph Winterbotham Collection at The Art Institute of Chicago (1994), p. 164-165.

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Chicago, Arts Club, Paintings by Raoul Dufy, January 21–February 4, 1930, n.p., cat. 12, as La Fenêtre à Nice, n.d.

Lincoln, Nebraska Art Association (University of Nebraska), 56th Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Art, March 3–31, 1946, cat. 161.

Chicago, Art Institute, The Winterbotham Collection, May 23–June 22, 1947, p.17, as Open Window, Nice, 1928.

University of Chicago, May 16–November 16, 1949.

Chicago, Watson and Boaler, April 14–30, 1952.

San Francisco Museum of Art, Raoul Dufy, 1877–1953, May 12–July 4, 1954, p. 39, cat. 37, as Open Window, Nice, 1928; traveled to the Los Angeles County Museum, July 14–September 12, 1954.

Des Moines Art Center, Communicating Art from Midwest Collections: American and European Painting and Sculpture, 1835–1955, October 13–November 6, 1955, n.p., cat. 59, as Open Window, Nice, 1928.

Purchase, Neuberger Museum, State University of New York at Purchase, The Window in Twentieth Century Art, September 20, 1986–January 18, 1987, p. 100 (ill.), p. 39; traveled to Houston, Contemporary Art Museum, April 24–June 29, 1987.

Nagaoka, Japan, Niigata Prefectural Museum of Modern Art, Masterworks of Modern Art from The Art Institute of Chicago, April 20–May 29, 1994; traveled to Nagoya, Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, June 10–July 24, 1994, and Yokohama Museum of Art, August 6–September 25, 1994.

West Palm Beach, Fla., Norton Museum of Art, Raoul Dufy: Last of the Fauves, March 27–June 6, 1999, p. 55, cat. 43 (ill.), as La Fenêtre Ouverte à Nice, 1928; traveled to Memphis, Tennesse, The Dixon Gallery and Gardens, June 27–September 5, 1999; New Orleans Museum of Art, October 2–November 21, 1999; and San Antonio, Texas, Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum, January 18–March 19, 2000.

Madrid, Spain, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Raoul Dufy, February 17–May 17, 2015, cat. 80.

Publication History

Berr de Turique, Marcelle, Raoul Dufy (1930), p. 167 (ill.).

Art Institute of Chicago, The Winterbotham Collection, exh. cat. (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1947), p.17, as Open Window, Nice, 1928.

San Francisco Museum of Art, Raoul Dufy, 1877–1953, exh. cat. (San Francisco: San Francisco Museum of Art, 1954), p. 39, cat. 37, as Open Window, Nice, 1928.

Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Raoul Dufy, exh. cat. (Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, 2015), p. 129 (ill.), back cover (ill.), cat. 80.

San Francisco Museum of Art Quarterly Bulletin, Series 2, Volume 3, no. 1-2, 1954.

Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings in The Art Institute of Chicago: A Catalogue of the Picture Collection (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1961), p. 132.

Barry, Edward, “A Legacy that Grows—Winterbotham Collection,” The Chicago Tribune (August 25, 1963), p. F4.

Laffaille, Maurice, Raoul Dufy: Catalogue raisonné de l’oeuvre peint III (Genève: Éditions Motte, 1976), p. 256, cat. 1234 (ill.), as La Fenêtre Ouverte à Nice, 1928.

Setford, David F., Raoul Dufy: Last of the Fauves, exh. cat. (West Palm Beach: Norton Museum of Art, 1999), p. 55, cat. 43 (ill.), as La Fenêtre Ouverte à Nice, 1928.

Speyer, A. James and Courtney Graham Donnell, Twentieth Century European Paintings (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980), p. 41, cat. 1F10, as Open Window, Nice, 1928.


Art Institute of Chicago, The Joseph Winterbotham Collection: A Living Tradition (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1986), pp. 27 and 58 (ill.), as Open Window, Nice, 1928.

Wood, James N., Treasures of 19th and 20th Century Painting, The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1993), p. 231 (ill.), as Open Window, Nice, 1928.

Boodro, Michael, “People are talking about art,” Vogue (April 1999), p. 232 (ill.), as Open Window Nice, 1928.

Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Raoul Dufy, exh. cat. (Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, 2015), p. 129 (ill.), back cover (ill.), cat. 80.

Ownership History

Valentine Galleries, Inc., New York, by 1930 [Chicago 1930]; sold to the Art Institute, for the Joseph Winterbotham Collection, 1937 [copy of receipt in curatorial file].




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