Although best known as a painter, Raoul Dufy was also a skilled printer of woodcuts. In 1910, with the encouragement of fashion designer Paul Poiret, he began translating his woodcuts into fabric designs. His reputation quickly grew, and in 1912 he signed a contract with Lyons-based silk weaving company Bianchini Férier to produce printing plates for furnishing and dress fabrics.
The Hunter, featuring a huntsman against a bold foliate background with a hunting dog and a barely visible spotted deer, is one of a range of bold block printed designs known as Les Toiles de Tournon. It was wildly popular, printed from 1913 until at least 1955, and featuring in advertisements for the Tournon range beginning in 1925. An early example of the more than four hundred fabric designs Dufy produced over the course of his lifetime, The Hunter marks one of the first 20th century collaborations between a modern artist and a textile firm.
Mae Colburn is a master’s student in the Parsons-Cooper Hewitt History of Decorative Arts and Design program. Her focus is textiles.