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MarcelDyf (1899–1985)

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Directory: Fine Art: Paintings: Oil: Europe: French: Pre 1960: item # 753308

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MarcelDyf (1899–1985)
“Claudine se brossant les cheveux” Oil on canvas 21 ½” x 17 3/8” Marcel Dyf was born in Paris on the 7th October 1899. As a youth he was influenced by the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist movements that he observed in Paris and Normandy, where he spent his holidays. He started a career in engineering but in his early twenties he decided to become an artist. He moved to Arles in Provence where he bought a studio and began zealously painting the inspirational. Dyf was self-taught as an artist. He remained in Arles for thirteen years before returning to Paris in 1935. While in Arles Dyf was commissioned to paint a number of large historical and decorative works, mostly frescoes, in the town halls of Saint Martin-de-Crau and Les Saintes Maries-de-la-Mer, in Arles, in the Museon Arlaten and in the dining hall of the Collège Ampère. He also designed windows for the church of Saint Louis in Marseille. During World War II he joined the Resistance and was based in Correze. After the war, Dyf held exhibitions of his work in some of the major cities in France. In 1950 he acquired a studio in Cannes, where he met his wife, Claudine Godat in 1954. Claudine was 19 years old, 36 years younger than Dyf. They married in 1965 and she devoted her life to traveling with Dyf. His inspiration for many compositions often came from Claudine who posed for him and allowed him to immortalize the spirit of womanhood. These portrait have become some of the most recognized and highly regard of Dyf’s work. A member of L'Ecole Francais, Dyf's fame rapidly spread outside his native France and a number of successful exhibitions of his work have been held in the United States of America and Great Britain. 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. He died on 16th September 1985.


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