Born in Le Havre, Normandy in 1877, Dufy did not take to art until the age of 18, when he enrolled in evening art classes at the municipal art school. By 1900 he had been granted a scholarship to the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris where he developed an interest in Impressionist landscapes with a particular focus on the work of Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro. He explored his own interest in landscapes by painting in the areas around his home town of Le Havre, including the beach at Sainte-Adresse which Monet had also painted.
In 1905 a visit to the Salon des Independants in Paris lead Dufy to discover Henri Matisse’s Luxe, Calme et Volupté and an interest in Fauvism’s bright colours and bold shapes was ignited. This fascination was later subdued when in 1909 Dufy turned his attention to Paul Cézanne, whose work led him to adopt a subtler style. In the 1920s he also had brief flirtation with Cubism before growing into his own personal style with its bold and fluid washes of colour. Dufy became famous for his still lifes, landscapes in and around Nice, racing scenes and seascapes. Dufy died in 1953.