London, South Kensington
2 December 1996
Raoul Dufy (1877-1953)
Vase aux Baigneuses Bleu
signed underneath Raoul Dufy, marked with the potter's monogram, numbered and dated underneath JLA, 43, 14.8.35, painted and glazed earthenware vase
10½in. (26.5cm.) high
This is a unique piece
Given to the present owner's wife by her aunt, Mrs Groom, circa 1950. Mrs Groom ran a boarding house in St Leonard's-on-Sea; one of her guests was a great friend of the painter Walter Richard Sickert, who left her two paintings by Sickert and this Dufy vase.
Dufy began to experiment with ceramics in 1922 when he met the Catalan ceramicist Josep Llorens Artigas; their collaboration lasted until 1938. Together they created about 110 unique vases, each individually numbered on the base. The vases were decorated with motifs such as shells, naiads and fish - here the cobalt blue sets off the silhouettes of the bathers, incised in luminous white.
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