Dufy's use of bright yellow paper illustrates the bold contrasts preferred by the Fauves. Unlike Henri Matisse, however, Dufy was less influenced by Paul Gauguin's woodcuts and the discovery of tribal art; he preferred the simplicity and decorative quality of French popular prints—Images d'Epinal, cheaply produced and crudely colored woodcuts used as devotional images, calendars, or almanacs. Dufy employed endgrain boxwood, usually used for wood engravings, for The Dance and the three other large woodcuts in this set. His originality lay in creating an effect of scattered light—a balanced distribution of black and yellow—by the overall cutting of various hatchings out of the block with a range of gouges and a penknife. The glint of gold specks on the yellow paper, and the playful rhythm of curves and hatchings, provide a lighthearted and decorative effect.
The Pleasures of Peace: Dance (or The Journey to the Islands)
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