Marcel Dyf (French, October 7, 1899–September 15, 1985) was a French painter best known for his work in the Impressionist movement. Though he started to paint in his younger years, Dyf did not begin to focus on art until 1922, when he moved to Arles, France. In 1935, he moved to Paris, France, and acquired a studio once used by Maximilien Luce (French, 1858–1941). Dyf only worked there for a few years before he joined the French Resistance during World War II.

In 1949, Dyf opened a studio in Saint Paul-de-Vence in Provence, France. The following year, he opened a second studio in Cannes, France, and studied at the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, PA. Though his early work often showed landscapes, he decided to start working on portraits. After Dyf married his wife, Claudine, he asked her to pose for him, and many of his portrait paintings showed Claudine in various poses, including Portrait d'une Femme, Portrait de la Femme à la Robe Bleue, and Le Souper Solitaire. The artist’s first show came in 1949 at the House of Petrides in Paris, France. The gallery exhibited his work again in 1951 and 1953.

Some of Dyf’s later paintings used landscape images in new ways. He frequently added new colors, texture, and fluid lines that gave the paintings a surreal quality. Le port de La Rochelle and Sur la manche are among the more famous landscapes he did in his later years. During the 1960s and 1970s, Dyf began to exhibit his work in London, Canada, and the United States. Frost and Reed in London, UK, exhibited his work in 1955, 1987, and 1990. The Musee Arlaten in Arles, France, and the Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton, MA, have the artist’s work as part of their permanent collections. Dyf also did murals for the Collège Ampère in Lyons, France, the Saint Martin-de-Crau Town Hall in Saint Martin-de-Crau, France, and Les Saintes Maries-de-la-Mer Town Hall in Camargue, France. Though he also lived in Bretagne, France, and Bois d'Arcy, France, the artist eventually settled in Paris, where he lived until his death in 1985.

Timeline

1899
Born: Paris, France
1922
Moved to Arles (Provence) and set up painting studio
1935
Returned to Paris, where he took over Maximilien Luce’s old studio
1940–1949
Joined the French Résistance in Corrèze and Dordogne during WWII
1949
Returned again to Paris, studio in Saint Paul-de-Vence, Provence, France
1950
Attended Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA
Established studio in Cannes, France
1956
Moved to Bois d’Arcy, near Versailles
1960–1969
Summers in Arzon, Bretagne, France
1985
Died: Paris, France
Collections:
Smith College Museum of Art, Northhampton, MA
Musée Arlaten, Arles, France
Commissioned Murals:
Saint Martin-de-Crau (Town Hall)
Les Saintes Maries-de-la-Mer(Town Hall)
Collège Ampère (Dining Room)

Exhibitions

1990
Retrospective Exhibition, Frost and Reed, London, England
1987
Frost and Reed, London, England(solo)
1955
Frost and Reed, London, England (solo)
1953
Galerie Petrides, Paris, France (solo)
1951
Galerie Petrides, Paris, France (solo)
1949
Galerie Petrides, Paris, France (solo)

Literature

E. Benezit ‘Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs’
‘Dictionnaire des Petits Maitres de la Peinture’
Dyf’ by Michel Gay; Galleries, 19th and 20th Century Masters
‘Marcel Dyf’, Frost and Reed Galleries, London