“When something looks too good to be true…. it usually is”.


In 1928 Dufy used an Indian young women as a model for several works. Among them two “Odalisques” or reclining nudes. In the other examples she is dressed and is situated in a sitting in a room. This hand coloured and numbered (probably lithographic) print(?)  appears to be an individual and authentic work. It definitely looks very “authentic”. Or someone did his utmost to make it look like…

The stamp on the back refers to the Paris firm of Julien Levebrve-Foinet which existed from 1885 until fairly recently: 2009. It was a well known artists’ materials supplier. But it is also known to have had a large stock of works by the artists they’ve served and represented. Most of it seems to have been auctioned after the family owned firm ended after 125 years in 2009. The calligraphic monogram label is still a puzzle. But since it was sold as “ohne Echtheitszertifikat” (legally meaning: “dream on but I told you so”) this could also mean chasing a hoax.   

Two years later in 1930 Dufy must have remembered his “Nue Indienne” when he created other “odalisques” (with butterflies). In 2022 one of them (the last example) was offered in Sotheby’s estimated 22-30.000$. The realised price is unknown.    

Dufy always has been one of my favourite French drawers. His (many) impressions of Paris are lovely and iconic and were even published as books. Meeting Dufy with his small odalisque (fake or not: it is a gem) brings me to another favourite theme: interiors with window views. A theme Matisse (and several other French neo impressionists) also explored. In several of his works Dufy united the Odalisque with the Window-view theme and added another personal layer of interests: the actual painting session in a homely setting.

Quite recently I met Australian icon Brett Whiteley and then had this Déja Vue………..  

Brett Whiteley (1939-1992) was a successful Australian artist who tragically died from an overdose. He created iconic views in and from his home overlooking Sidney Lavender Bay in a very personal and Fauvist style. And, I am convinced may even have been inspired by Dufy.  

Click the middle picture to find some more of my favourite Whitely drawings which look deceivingly simple: … but are not !