Le Bal chez L’Amiral (s.8591) The Admiral’s Ball
Medium: Original Lithograph, circa 1925, on Chine Volant paper, in Black & white , signed by the artist in pencil
Size: 350 x 275 mms (sheet size) ; 357 x 270 mms (Image size)
Edition: A proof outside an edition of unknown size (probably 100 or less)
Provenance: The stock of Henri M Petiet, Paris. The dealers stamp H.M.P in an oval, verso. Petiet was one of the most famous art dealers of Paris in the post war era. He bought the stock of Vollard on that dealers untimely death and proceeded to become one of the leading print dealers in Paris. The fact that our piece emanates from this source gives authenticity and prominence to it.
Dufy painted a large Oil on Canvas in 1923 which was sold at Sotherbys’ in 2008. Le gal chez l’amiral depicts an elegant gala honouring a high-ranking naval officer. Jacques Lassaigne explained how Dufy “liked nothing better than the sociable gatherings of men and women on particular occasions. His eye took delight in the spec- tacle offered by official receptions in some foreign embassy or in the salons of the President of the French Republic,
as gorgeous uniforms stood out against gilded waist coating, and medals and ribbons glittered under the chandeliers… Here Dufy stood by, a little in the background, an amused and ironical observer, but entranced by the play of colours and unusual patterns of forms” (Jacques Lassaigne, Dufy, Lausanne, 1954, p. 70).
“Dufy’s visual world made a strong appeal to the young people in the nineteen twenties and nineteen thirties because of its radiance and optimism, the freedom from nostalgia… and that extraordinary sense of speed and vitality which could be seen to fit into the general love of raciness in this period” (Bryan Robertson, Raoul Dufy (exhibition catalogue), Paris, p. 23).