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Marcel Dyf (1899-1985)

Marcel Dyf (1899-1985)




Poppy Field at Saint Paul de Vence 

Oil on canvas

France, 1958


61 x 73,7 cm

Ornamental frame


Signed bottom left

  • Post-Impressionism

    Marcel Dyf shows a vivid and colourful landscape on this painting, with a focus on a field of flowers  in the foreground.

    The field is filled with red, blue and purple flowers, mostly poppies and also lupins, among green foliage. In the middle ground, there are several figures that appear to be women in dresses and hats; they appear to be picking or tending the flowers. Behind them are rustic buildings with brown roofs that blend into the rolling hills in the background. The sky is not visible as the focus is on the lush landscape and the activity therein.


    The painting's brushwork is loose and expressive, typical of post-impressionism, which emphasizes colour and form rather than precise detail. This creates a dynamic and somewhat dreamlike effect that captures the beauty of nature through bold colours and powerful brushstrokes.



    Claudine Dyf


    Madame Claudine Dyf, his wife and muse, kindly provided the following commentary on this painting

    "Dyf painted several paintings of gleaners in a flower field in Provence (Saint Paul de Vence) around 1958.

    This work was painted to my knowledge for the office of the president of Mazda Company which no longer exists, and it was reproduced on a calendar published by this Company.

    The unique feature of this painting is that it has no sky. The view of the fields is from a low angle."

  • Marcel Dyf (France 1899-1985)

    Marcel Dyf, whose real name was Marcel Dreyfus abandoned engineering to become a painter. He spent some months studying in a Paris studio, then explored the Provence and settled first in Arles and later in Paris. He divided his time between the Paris area and Cannes.


    His art derived from classical tradition and from moderate Post-Impressionism. His landscapes, which form the greater part of his output, are often painted in shades of ochre and in horizontal planes, with additional matter worked in.





    He produced many in the Île-de-France, in Provence where he lived, and also in Brittany and Normandy, in Venice, Morocco and Israel.



    Claudine, his muse


    He also painted portraits and figures, in the 1950s often of gypsy women, and frequently of his wife Claudine. He produced decorative work in the town halls of Stes-Maries de la Mer (Camargue) and St-Martin-de-Crau (Arles), and painted frescoes in the Musée Arlaten in Arles in 1936.In Paris he exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français, the Salon d’Automne and the Tuileries. He also had solo shows in Paris, three of them at the Galerie Petrides, and from 1956 in London at the Frost and Reed Gallery. In 1995 the General Council of Bouches-du-Rhône put on a retrospective exhibition of his early work, and in 1999 an exhibition at L’Espace Dyf in Bois-d’Arcy commemorated the hundredth anniversary of his birth.





    Geneva (Petit Palais): Gipsy Scene

    Nice (Mus. de la Ville): The Place Masséna at the Liberation

    Pittsburgh (Carnegie MA): Flowers

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