Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza - Inicio

Versión española

Buy tickets

American Impressionism

From 04 November 2014 to 01 February 2015

Limited entry numbers. Early booking is recommended

Mary Cassatt
Autumn, 1880 (detail)
Oil on canvas
92,5 x 65,5 cm

Musée des Beaux Arts de la Ville de Paris, Petit Palais, París, PPP00706 © Petit Palais/Roger Viollet
  • Home
  • The Little Palm Tree

Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection

Raoul Dufy
The Little Palm Tree
Oil on canvas
91 x 79 cm
Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection on deposit at Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza
Numero de inventario
INV. Nr. (CTB.1987.21)

More information about this work

Raoul Dufy painted The Little Palm Tree in 1905. The painting is interesting for a number of reasons. It is situated at the crossroads of different trends, and it offers us an instantaneous view of Dufy's work in 1905, showing a fauvist style in evolution, but always in contrast with the Impressionism of his early years. The scene is made up of a series of flat areas of colour, of more or less defined shades, which, by their opposition, create a sense of perspective and rhythm. The reds and the greens-bright and contrasting colours, fauvist colours par excellence-are here in conflict, in a permanent confrontation. The reds dominate the centre of the painting and seem to rise, so to say, like a winding triangular shape, towards a blue door in the upper part of the composition. That blue door constitutes the only neutral point in the painting, a point towards which our gaze is inevitably attracted. On the other hand, the top and the edges of the work are dominated by greens; intense and dark on the left, and lighter on the right. Both the composition and the colours follow the fauvist model. The framing goes against the academic principles, and the scene seems to have been painted on the spot, as if it were a photograph. Thus, the chair in the foreground has its four legs cut off and the horizon line, which represents the vanishing point, is very high in the composition. The painting does not simply bear the mark of Fauvism, but it also shows that singular gravity found in the pieces from Dufy's youth. Here, the artist works on the chiaroscuro. It is a type of work that, from a theoretical point of view, is entirely opposed to Fauvism, which rejects without concessions any type of shading and maintains uniquely the pure colour. The presence of black or dark green areas in the upper part of the canvas acts as a kind of barrier to the rise of the bright red mass taking up the centre of the painting, which symbolises the emergence of the new trends that, in 1905, were revolutionising the world of art. Dufy's Impressionist past is still present in this painting. Thus, the shapes and objects are made up of small touches of colour of varying sizes. Touches that are sometimes very distanced from each other, as if in an attempt to emphasise the rhythm of the composition, or very close, in order to build flat areas of colour that create a sense of perspective.

The Little Palm Tree is one of Dufy's most interesting works. Although it clearly belongs to Fauvism, it also shows the personality and originality of its author, who cannot limit himself to reproducing of a style without adding a large dose of his own interpretation and personal expression.

Fanny Guillon-Laffaille

Featured Products

Go to the shop

Recommended artists

Recommended works

© 2009 Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza

Paseo del Prado 8, 28014 Madrid, España

We use our own cookies and those of third-parties to analyze the use of our website and display personalized advertising. If you continue browsing, we will consider that you consented to its use. For more information see our Cookie Policy.