About this artwork
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, <a href=”https://www.artic.edu/artists/33739”
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.
- Raoul Dufy
- Open Window, Nice
- Oil on canvas
- 65.1 × 53.7 cm (25 5/8 × 21 1/8 in.)
- © 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris