Raymond Dauphin was born in Belgium in 1910, and later lived in St. Paul de Vence where; an area of France associated with artists such as Matisse, Braque, and Modigliani. It was here that he developed his talents as an oil painter. He came from a family of lawyers, and broke generational tradition in his artistic pursuits. Not much else is known about the personal life of Dauphin, however, his professional connections in the art world as well as artistic ventures and successes are fairly well documented. He is often associated with other artists, and is not often discussed in his one right; he is often introduced as a friend of Picasso, and French poet, Jean Cocteau. Dauphin has sold works at the Palais Des-Beaux-Arts-Servarts in Brussels, had a solo show at the Musee Picasso, Antibes, in 1975, and most notably his art was displayed in the 1958 International Bruxelles Expo; the first major expo after World War II.
Highlighting his work as an independently successful artist, we have a painting in our November sale by Dauphin that displays typical aspects of his style and proves his deserving credits as an autonomous artist. Machine Coudre pour les Radix is a mixed media work by Dauphin that was most likely commissioned by the owners of the Radix thread company. The work is a simple composition, the subject matter of a sewing machine taking up the majority of the canvas, portrayed in Dauphin’s signature natural tones and textural approach to the subject. Like almost all of his works, this composition is primarily created through a thick application of oil paint, followed by other mediums, most likely charcoal which was heavily favoured by Dauphin. The colour palette is consistent with his other works such as Verrerie (1975) and Jazz Band (c.1970). His approach to painting and palette is consistent, while he approaches his compositions in differing styles, experimenting with geometric shapes and abstract works, as well as more traditional realism; a contrast to his contemporaries and acquaintances like Picasso who almost solely produced cubist pieces, and his Antibes contemporary Matisse who worked in Fauvism.
Dauphin created works that do not require the audience to think too deeply into their meaning or read between the lines; but produced compositions that are enjoyable to view and are neutral, pleasurable experiences. Machine Coudre pour le Radix is an objective work that does not suggest there to be a secondary meaning behind the subject matter. The neutral and earthy tones would compliment any space in which it is hung, and the texture and light used throughout also brings live to the work. Dauphin passed away in 1995 after a life full of art.