Dufy depicted Bastille Day in a dozen paintings. Here he captured a celebration of the French holiday in Le Havre, Normandy, his native coastal city. As is typical of Dufy's style, in this painting he rendered the building facades and figures strolling up the street in a loose, simplified manner. The subdued tones of the buildings and figures contrast with the vibrant hues of the tricolored French flags. Prominently displayed and carefully choreographed, they are the protagonists in the composition, relegating all other elements to a secondary position.
Gallery label from Cézanne to Picasso: Paintings from the David and Peggy Rockefeller Collection, July 17–August 31, 2009.