Raoul Dufy first travelled to Morocco in 1925, along with famed French couturier Paul Poiret. Dufy and Poiret shared an enduring creative relationship, frequently collaborating on textile patterns and designs. Like many artists of the time, both men were enthralled by the imagined exoticism of the Far East and the promise of the myriad visual inspirations it could provide. When they arrived in Morocco, Dufy and Poiret were greeted as guests by the Pacha of Marrakech, Thami El Glaoui. Wealthy, powerful and famously charming, he was widely renowned for his hospitality and entertaining, and he welcomed the artists into his home. Freeman's is pleased to offer his work "Chez la Pacha" in our December 6 auction of Modern & Contemporary Art.
Both men were surely dazzled by the Pacha’s extravagant lifestyle, but the architecture and arts of Morocco would likely have had an even more significant resonance for them. Dufy in particular painted multiple works depicting his time in Marrakech. Many of these – like the present example – specifically record the magnificently adorned interiors of the traditional Moroccan home of the lavish leader. Devoted to rhythmic lines, evocative color and decorative surface effects in his fine art and textiles alike, Dufy would have found fertile creative ground amongst the patterns and designs he observed in Marrakech. This inspiration is clearly evident in “Chez Le Pacha”. The balletic lines of its archways, the use of brilliant colors and the delicate, staccato arabesques of the mosaics that embellish the walls all point to Dufy’s joy in reveling in the unique beauty that surrounded him in this exotic land.
This work comes from the distinguished collection of the Croquez family. It has descended in the family from patriarch Albert Croquez, a venerable lawyer, historian, writer and art connoisseur. Born in France in 1886, Albert was an accomplished and admired figure. In addition to his successful law career, Croquez wrote extensively on French history, and was recognized with awards from institutions like the Académie Française. He counted Félix Labisse, Moïse Kisling and James Ensor amongst his closest friends, and authored the first monograph on Ensor as a printmaker, all the while remaining an active collector of Ensor’s work. His fine, discerning eye for art led Croquez to build an extensive and important collection. In addition to the Raoul Dufy, we will be offering works by Ensor, Kisling and Gustave De Smet from the Croquez collection in the December 6th auction.
To be offered 12/06/16: Raoul Dufy "Chez la Pacha" Estimate $60,000-100,000