(1899 – 1985)
Title: "Peonies and Daisies in a Glass Vase”
Size: Height 27 ½ inches Width 23 ½ inches (framed)
Marcel Dyf, whose real name was Marcel Dreyfus, was born in Paris on October 7, 1899. While he showed a talent for art at an early age, he began his adult life as an engineer, but by the age of 23 he became a professional artist. Dyf’s influence and inspiration came from the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists; among his favorite was Pierre A. Renoir. Dyf set up a studio in Arles in 1922 and began his career as a landscape artist – painting views of the surrounding countryside. His work began to attract attention from collectors and dealers and it was not long before he began exhibiting at the Salon des Artists Francais, Salon d’Autumn and Salon des Tulleries. By 1935 Dyf had returned to Paris and during World War II he joined the Resistance and was based in Correze. By 1950 he had set up a studio in Cannes and a few years later met a young girl by the name of Claudine. Claudine was 19 at the time, some 36 years younger than Marcel, and in 1965 after posing for him for many years the two married. They spent many years together, traveling the world in search of subject matter and each summer they would spend time in their home in Brittany. Among his most successful exhibitions were those at the famous Petrides Gallery in Paris in 1949, 1951, and 1953. He was greatly honored in 1950 by being asked to exhibit in the National Display Gallery at the Carnegie Institute.
It is for his vibrant flower paintings that Dyf is best remembered. These Impressionist flower paintings capture the very essence of true Impressionism – vivacious colour, texture and great depth – all combined in a master’s touch. This beautiful example of his work is presented in excellent condition in a period carved frame and is signed by the artist.
Museums: Smith College Museum of Art, Northhampton, MA; Musee Ariaten