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    Sale 1942

    Important 20th Century Decorative Art & Design

    18 December 2007, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 148

    RAOUL DUFY (1873-1954)


    Price Realised  


    RAOUL DUFY (1873-1954)
    A Set of Ten Leather and Tapestry Upholstered Dining Chairs, circa 1935
    depicting monuments of Paris, the chairs of modern design
    each 37¼ in. (94.6 cm.) high
    signed in the weave Raoul Dufy (10)

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    cf. M. Lafaille, Raoul Dufy: Catalogue Raisonné, Geneva, 1977, vol. 4, pp. 235-238, nos. 1727-1734 for illustrations of tempera designs for eight of the chairs.

    Dufy's work in tapestry began in 1924 when, in order to promote the development of modern tapestries, the French government awarded commissions to contemporary painters and decorators. Dufy was named the artist best qualified to introduce modernism to the tapestry field. He was commissioned to design a suite of furniture, with a Parisian theme, which would incorporate tapestries made by the National Factory at Beauvais. In 1932, when the set was finally finished, critics heralded it a great success and a landmark in the development of the Beauvais workshop.

    In 1935 Marie Cuttoli, a collector of avant-guard paintings who was also committed to the creation of tapestries made in collaboration with contemporary painters, commissioned Dufy to create a set of ten dining room chairs also depicting a Parisian theme. For this project, Dufy drew on the set he had previously designed for Beauvais Factory. For Cuttoli, Dufy chose a different background color for each chair. The seats decorated with a single flower of various types and each of the chairs tall backs depicted a different monument of Paris: Bourbon Palace, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Moulin Rouge, Arc de Triomphe in the Carrousel, the Pont Neuf is seen twice, the Hotel de Ville and Notre Dame. Each monument is viewed over elaborate and individually designed iron balconies and through cast aside scalloped curtains.

    Pre-Lot Text

    Dufy's preparatory paintings for the tapestries


    Raoul Dufy, exhibition catalogue, Holly Solomon Gallery, New York, 1984, np. for an illustration of two chairs from this set.

    D. Perez-Tibi, Dufy, New York, 1989, p. 193-197 for illustrations of six of the ten chairs.

    The Hayward Gallery, Raoul Dufy 1877-1953: Paintings, Drawings, Illustrated Books, Mural Decorations, Aubusson Tapestries, [etc.], exhibition catalogue, London, 1983.


    London, The Hayward Gallery, "Raoul Dufy 1877-1953: Paintings, Drawings, Illustrated Books, Mural Decorations, Aubusson Tapestries, [etc.]" November 1983-February 1984, two or three of the ten chairs were on view.