Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

Though he initially worked in an impressionist style, Dufy’s practice as a designer and painter was characterized by the use of bright, flat colors. He developed this style after encountering the art of Henri Matisse and the Fauves at the Salon d’Automne in 1905, the newly inaugurated annual exhibition of modern art in Paris. Dufy often depicted horse races, regattas, and other upper-class amusements, and he produced more than thirteen paintings of the racetrack at Deauville, Normandy, including this one. Here he applies vibrant blues, greens, and purples in transparent washes that burst through the outlines meant to confine them, while the calligraphic lines that define the spectators and chairs on the lawn lend a sense of movement and spontaneity to the scene. The decorative qualities of this and other works by Dufy stem from his collaboration with the fashion designer Paul Poiret and the silk manufacturer Bianchini Férier between 1912 and 1928.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Raoul Dufy, French (Le Havre, France 1877 - 1953 Forcalquier, France)
Race Track at Deauville, the Start
Work Type
Persistent Link
Level 1, Room 1220, European Art, 19th–20th century, Collection of Maurice Wertheim, Class of 1906
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Physical Descriptions
Oil on canvas
66 x 81.6 cm (26 x 32 1/8 in.)
framed: 84.3 x 100.3 x 7 cm (33 3/16 x 39 1/2 x 2 3/4 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: l.c.: Raoul Dufy 1929
  • label: verso, stretcher, printed label with object information handwritten in graphite: PM / ARTIST Raoul Dufy / TITLE Race track Deauville / DATE 1929 / SIZE / NO. S -102
  • inscription: verso, center stretcher, handwritten in red chalk: 334
  • label: verso, center stretcher, label with red border, handwritten in black ink: 568 / Dufy
  • stamp: verso, center stretcher, rectangular stamp in red ink: PM
  • inscription: verso, stretcher, handwritten in blue crayon: 41090[?]
  • inscription: verso stretcher, handwritten in red crayon: 41090[?]
Pierre Matisse Gallery, sold; to Maurice Wertheim, (1938 - 1951), bequest; to Fogg Art Museum, 1951.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest from the Collection of Maurice Wertheim, Class of 1906
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Accession Year
Object Number
Modern and Contemporary Art
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Publication History

Marcelle Berr de Turique, Raoul Dufy, Librairie Floury (Paris, France, 1931), p. 110

New York City, exh. cat., Carroll Carstairs Gallery (New York, NY, 1940)

Alfred M. Frankfurter, "Today's Collectors: Modern Milestones", Art News (June 1946), vol. XLV, no. 4, p. 64

French Painting since 1870, lent by Maurice Wertheim, Class of 1906, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1946), p. 62, repr. p. 63

La Peinture Française Depuis 1870: Collection Maurice Wertheim, exh. cat., Tom Taylor (Québec, Canada, 1949), p. 69, repr. p. 70, no. 26

John Canaday, Mainstreams of Modern Art, Henry Holt and Co. (New York, NY, 1959), pp. 408-409, repr. p. 409

The Maurice Wertheim Catalogue: Modern French Art-- Monet to Picasso, exh. cat., North Carolina Museum of Art (Raleigh, NC, 1960), p. 12, repr. p. 13

The Maurice Wertheim Collection: Manet to Picasso, exh. cat., The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Houston, TX, 1962), p. 16, pl. 3

Kenneth Stuart, Reader's Digest Family Treasury of Great Painters and Great Paintings, Reader's Digest Association (Pleasantville, NY, 1965), repr. in color p. 180

Alan Gowans, The Restless Art: A History of Painters and Painting 1760-1960, J. B. Lippincott Co. (Philadelphia, PA, 1966), repr. p. 339

Maurice Laffaille, Raoul Dufy: Catalogue Raisonné de l'Oeuvre Peint, Editions Motte (Geneva, Switzerland, 1972 - 1977), vol. III no. 1293

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, exh. cat., Maine State Museum (Augusta, ME, 1972), repr. no. 9

John O'Brian, Degas to Matisse: the Maurice Wertheim Collection, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. and Fogg Art Museum (New York, NY and Cambridge, MA, 1988), no. 36, p. 128-130, repr. in color p. 129; p. 159

The Maurice Wertheim Collection and Selected Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings and Drawings in the Fogg Art Museum, exh. cat., Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (New York, NY, 1990), repr. in color no. 40, p. 111

Elizabeth M. Rudy, "Researching the Wertheim Collection at the Harvard Art Museums", Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals (Summer 2014), Vol. 10, No. 3, pp. 301-6

Exhibition History

New York City, Carroll Carstairs Gallery, New York, 02/06/1940 - 03/16/1940

French Painting since 1870 lent by Maurice Wertheim, Class of 1906, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 06/01/1946 - 09/07/1946; National Gallery of Art, Washington, 07/01/1953 - 09/13/1953

La Peinture Française depuis 1870, Musée de la Province de Quebec, 07/12/1949 - 08/07/1949

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 07/01/1952 - 09/14/1952

French Paintings Since 1870 from the Maurice Wertheim Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 06/01/1953 - 09/30/1953

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, 06/15/1957 - 09/15/1957

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, 06/10/1958 - 08/31/1958

The Maurice Wertheim Collection: Modern French Art--Monet to Picasso, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, 06/17/1960 - 09/04/1960

The Maurice Wertheim Collection: Manet to Picasso, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, 06/13/1962 - 09/02/1962

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, 06/20/1963 - 09/01/1963

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, 06/24/1965 - 09/07/1965

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence, 09/03/1968 - 09/22/1968

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Montgomery Museum of Art, Montgomery, 06/01/1971 - 09/30/1971

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Maine State Museum, Augusta, 06/01/1972 - 09/01/1972

Manet to Matisse: The Maurice Wertheim Collection, IBM Gallery of Science and Art, New York, 04/09/1985 - 05/25/1985

The Maurice Wertheim Collection and Selected Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings and Drawings in the Fogg Art Museum, Isetan Department Store, Tokyo, 03/01/1990 - 04/10/1990; Yamaguchi Prefectural Museum of Art, 04/14/1990 - 05/13/1990

Re-View: S427 Impressionist & Postimpressionist Art, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 08/02/2008 - 06/18/2011

32Q: 1220 Wertheim, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 02/13/2015 - 01/01/2050

Related Works

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