Featuring more than two dozen works on paper by the important Fauvist painter and quintessential artist of vibrant outdoor social events, this delightful assembly of drawings by Raoul Dufy charmingly conveys the pomp and elegance of the golden era of British horse racing.
Dufy was drawn to the alluring spectacle of the crowd at Ascot and spent two days in June 1930 observing the throng of upper-class people gathered there, tracing their contours and movements with his distinctively sinuous and gestural lines to produce sketches commemorating the event. He later used these sketches as the basis for more detailed watercolors that are also included in this exhibition. Drawn from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, these works depict the sport that captivated Mellon during his studies at the University of Cambridge and remained a lifelong passion.
This exhibition is curated by Dr. Colleen Yarger, VMFA’s former assistant curator for European Art and the Mellon Collections, under the direction of Dr. Sylvain Cordier, Paul Mellon Curator and Head of the Department of European Art.
IMAGES Ascot (detail), 1930s, Raoul Dufy (French, 1877–1953), transparent and opaque watercolor with graphite on wove paper. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, 85.764; Page from a Sketchbook (detail), “Impressions at Ascot,” 1930, Raoul Dufy (French, 1877–1953), graphite on wove paper. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, 85.763.18