Biography of Jean Dufy

(1888 - 1964)


Jean Dufy was a French artist born on March 12, 1888 in Le Harve, France to a family with 11 siblings. He was closest to his brother Raoul who was also an artist. Jean went to school at Ecole Primaire Superieure du Havre. As a young man he enjoyed experimenting with painting, a trait shared with many of his siblings especially Raoul. Throughout his life Raoul also acted as a mentor both in helping Jean to find his voice as a Post-Impressionist artist, and by introducing him to other artists such as Durain, Braque, Matisse, Cezanne and Picasso.

His first job after school was as a clerk for a shipping company. He was inspired by his sea voyages and painted scenes of ships and the sea. He had his first exhibition in 1914 at Galerie Berthe Weill.
Because of World War I he stopped painting for a period of time. During the war he was part of the cavalry.

After the war he returned to Paris in the district of Montmarte in 1920. Here he collaborated with fellow artists Marquet and Friesz as well as his brother Raoul. He learned from his fellows how to successfully implement water colors.

For his subject matter Jean painted scenes of Paris, landscapes, opera concert halls, flowers, seascapes, and still life's. During this time in addition to working on his painting, Jean also worked on decorating porcelain for Theodore Haviland in Limoges. He was well known for his work depicting animals and flowers. He received a gold medal at the 1925 International Exhibition of Decorative Arts for the Chateaux de France set.

Jean had an early exhibition in the Salon d'Automne in 1923 and later on as well. He had exhibitions in Paris (Gaerie Barreiro, Galerie Jos. Hessel) , New York (Chase Gallery), and Philadelphia(Georges de Braux Gallery). He also had work shown in museums in America (the MoMA) and in Europe (Musee national d'Art moderne, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the Albertina Museum in Vienna).

In mid-life, he was also a next door neighbor to his friend Georges Braque, a Cubist who also influenced Jean's style. During this time he visited Normandy and the south of France, and he also travelled internationally. However, it was Paris which was his true home. He loved paintings of Parisian street scenes, and famous landmarks such as Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower.

Jean Dufy passed away on May 12, 1964 in Boussay, France.



Vue du Trocadero
Vue du Trocadero
from the on line collection of Modern Art Museum - Paris