Acquired by the previous owner, circa 1970.
Marcel Dyf was born in Paris on October 7, 1899. Dyf showed an early interest in painting and, as his family holidays were spent in Normandy, the French countryside served as a place of inspiration for his paintings. In 1922, Dyf moved to Arles and established a studio, which he maintained for the next twenty years. Largely self-taught, Dyf admired Rembrandt, Vermeer and Tiepolo, and many observers have noted the influence of Renoir. While working in Arles, he was commissioned to paint several large frescoes in the town halls of Saint Martin-de-Crau and Les Saintes Marles-de-la-Mer. After moving from Arles, he established a studio in Paris where he thrived in the creative culture of the capital.
With the invasion of France in 1940, Dyf returned to Arles, but was forced to abandon his home. Dyf decided to join French resistance forces in Correze and the Dordogne. After the war, he returned to Paris, and established a second studio in Saint Paul-de-Vence. His works were sought after throughout southern France and he exhibited in several Parisian salons. The Petrides Gallery in Paris featured his work three times in 1949, 1951 and 1953.
Dyf established a gallery studio in Cannes in the early 1950s where he gained a following among Americans visiting the Riviera. The London Gallery, Frost and Reed, bought many of Dyf’s paintings, beginning a long professional relationship between the artist and gallery, and enabling Dyf to focus solely on his artistic career. In the summer of 1954, he met his soon-to-be wife Claudine who, only 19 at the time, would become the subject of many of his paintings.
Dyf is most widely known for his still life and portrait paintings. A contemporary Impressionist and member of the L’Ecole Francais, he infused his subjects with emotional intensity and a vibrant palette. In his painting, Bouquet de Fleurs, Dyf returns to one of his favorite genres, the floral still life. Realized with dramatic, suggestive strokes, the bright bouquet of flowers is set against a muted gray-green background. The yellow and white daisies are offset by bursts of reds and blues. As with all of his paintings, Dyf believed in making a spontaneous and creative work, rarely modifying or repainting. The viewer is able to observe and appreciate the different brush strokes Dyf incorporated in his paintings, some saturated with paint, and others created with feathery quick gestures.