Born in LeHavre, Dufy began his studies there, taking night classes at L'cole des Beaux Arts. In 1900, after being awarded a scholarship to pursue his artistic ambitions, the artist moved to Paris and enrolled at the cole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts.
While the Impressionist-dominated Parisian art scene had a profound impact on Dufy's early landscapes, the artist attended an exhibition of the Salon des Independants of 1905 and was struck by the dazzling colors of Matisse and the Fauvist group. This encounter radically changed the artist's approach to painting. Dufy immediately began to incorporate the lively brush strokes and brilliant color of Fauvism into his work.
Working primarily in watercolor, the artist developed a signature technique of highly stylized calligraphic drawings accented with washes of bold color. His travels around the Mediterranean provided inspiration for many of the artist's best known paintings and the cheerful theme of the seaside is a recurring motif in his work. These immensely popular works exude spontaneity with their exuberant color and dynamic line.
Dufy extended the range of his oeuvre with innovative fabric design, book illustration, ceramics and tapestry. An unparalleled colorist, Dufy's highly decorative works retain a level of freshness and verve that have made them popular with modern audiences.