Wouter Janssen
(Inventory private collection)

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click on photo to enlarge
Artist: Marcel Dyf (French, 1899 - 1985)
Title: 'Claudine Godat reading a Book’
Size: 55 x 46 cm (22 x 18 inch)
Material: Oil on original canvas
Signed: lower right; Dyf
Inventory no.: MD423
Price: € 14.000,-

French painter Marcel Dyf, was born in Paris in 1899. In his youth he showed a marked ability for painting. At the age of twenty-three he took the step of becoming a professional artist and devoted himself entirely to painting. He soon became known not only in France, but also in England, America, Canada, Germany and Algeria. Among his most successful exhibitions were those at the famous Petrides Gallery in Paris in 1949, 1951, and 1953. He was greatly honored in 1950 by being asked to exhibit in the National Display Gallery at the Carnegie Institute.

Today Dyf has an international reputation. Noted for his portraits and bouquets of flowers, his inspiration for many compositions often came from his wife Claudine who posed for him and allowed him to immortalize the spirit of womanhood. His pastoral scenes en plein air capture french countryside with unique color, light and vibrancy.
For an artist to be considered an "Impressionist" in the purest meaning of the word, he must know how to transfer his personal feelings to the canvas. Through the application of color, this transference is accomplished. In Dyf's paintings there is no touching, no re-working. Instead his brushwork is fluid and "first-time" perfect. One can feel the impact of his colors, "feel" the wind in his landscapes, "see" the ripples of waves in his waterfronts, and "sense" the various textures of the subjects he paints whether they be trees, human figures, fields of grain or vibrant flower gardens.

Dyf met Claudine Godat in the summer of 1954. Aged 19, she was thirty-six years younger than Dyf and with her long fair hair, clear skin, vivacity and patience, she was what the artist felt to be his perfect model. It was simply love at first sight. There was an instant rapport between them and her arrival in his life acted as a catalyst, bringing Dyf’s art forward to the threshold of its most mature phase. They married in 1956 settled together in their main home.
Claudine brought into the life of the artist vigour and vitality and he was tirelessly painting her in all imaginable poses and situations. To watch Dyf paint was entrancing. Even as an old man, he would stand rather than sit before the easel, working with extraordinary vigour and intense concentration. His palette was a rainbow of fresh colours and his hand continually darted back and forth from the canvas.

His power of suggestion is strong. He painted not only a beautiful scene but also gave insight into himself through his brushwork and use of color. His pleasant looseness with the brush puts the viewer in a relaxed mood, allowing one to take time in fully appreciating each painting. A true Impressionist in every sense of the word, Dyf stands with the masters of his field. He has influenced numerous artists and has set a standard for contemporary Impressionists to achieve. His death in 1985 marked the passing of one of the last true Impressionists of our era.