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    Raoul Dufy's ambient light

Dufy experimented with color even before the first Fauve exhibition in 1905. He did not exhibit with Henri Matisse and his group of Fauves at that first show, but he was excited by their creative use of color and drawing. He developed his own theory of couleur-lumière, (heightened ambient color/light), which he used throughout his career.

 
"Jeanne with flowers," Raoul Dufy, 1907

Dufy was born in Le Havre in 1877. At the age of 15 he enrolled at the local arts school where he met Georges Braque. In 1900 the town of Le Havre awarded him a grant to study art in Paris. His interest in color began with the Impressionists, and he admired works by Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro. Like Braque, Dufy's home-town friend and fellow Fauve, Dufy experimented with Cubism from 1907 on, utilizing flattened space and an emphasis on form. Upon Dufy's death in 1953, Matisse proclaimed that "Dufy's work will live."

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