Marcel Dyf was born in 1899 in Paris on the 7th October. A member of L’Ecole Francais, he exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Francais, the Salon d’Automne and the Salon des Tuilleries. His fame rapidly spread outside his native France and a number of successful exhibitions have been held in the United States of America and Great Britain.
His richness of palette combined with the powerful use of stubby brushes produced the strength ad spontaneity which are the hallmarks of his work. His versatility was unbounded and the ability to produce flattering portraits, enchanting landscapes and fresh coastal scenes accounted for his international success.
Marcel Dyf lived in a 16th century grange with a cool interior of stone floors, rafters and the large Norman fireplaces which are delightful to look at in the Summer and provided comforting log fires during the Winter. The staircase is of ancient oak, polished by time, and the studio faces North on the first floor, and is again a place of beams and white walls with a window which catches most of the blue sky.
His garden, where he often used to paint, is a walled rectangle with fruit espaliers which sing of the blossom of Spring and later show rich fruit warmed by the sun. At one end are young Lombardy poplars reaching to the sky, and in the middle a little group of small trees where one can lunch or dine en plein air, rather like a Manet.
The girl who figures in so many of his compositions is his wife, who in between running the grange, posed for him, allowing him to recapture the spirit of Chardin and so immortalise himself in the process.
Marcel Dyf was a fascinating example of the supersensitive artist who painted with extraordinary knowledge and a dynamic sense of colour. He employed paint in its purest and richest form, and having so vivid an imagination, composed speedily his delightful subjects and enriched them with his romantic and objective ideas.
The garden, the grange and the environs are the stuff of which the artist’s dream were made. If therefore, Marcel Dyf has tried to tell us so much of his thoughts, it is because man is eloquent when inspired by that which is around him or by the people with whom he associates.
Marcel Dyf died on 16th September, 1985.
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