Charles Dufresne


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French painter, designer, and engraver, born at Millemont, Seine-et-Oise. He trained as a commercial engraver, then studied medal engraving at the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, but he turned increasingly to painting, exhibiting his pictures regularly from 1899. In 1910 he was awarded the Prix de l'Afrique du Nord and spent the next two years in Algeria. This contact with an exotic civilization stimulated his sense of colour and stirred his interest in the kind of romantic African subjects painted by Delacroix in the 19th century. During the First World War he served in the French army, and after being gassed he worked in Dunoyer de Segonzac's camouflage unit. Like Segonzac, Dufresne became recognized in the interwar period as an upholder of traditional skills and values (see Néo-Réalisme), but he also adopted a mild degree of Cubist stylization. His output included religious paintings and portraits, but his most characteristic works are imaginative scenes recalling his exotic travels (Spahi Attacked by a Lion, 1919, Tate).

From A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Art.

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