Artist in Focus - Roger De La Fresnaye
Roger de La Fresnaye was a French painter known for his unique contributions to Cubism. Born into an aristocratic family in 1885, he was educated in classics and fine art. His early twenties saw him travel to Paris, where he was taught by the impressionist painter Maurice Denis.
He was influenced by the likes of Picasso and Braque, incorporating abstracted and playful shapes. It was his sensitive use of colour that set him apart, adding a naturalistic and dreamlike quality to his work. Over time, his style shifted towards Orphism. This was an art movement pioneered by Robert and Sonia Delaunay, focusing on energetic and emotive colours.
La Fresnaye followed in the footsteps of his father and joined the French army. He fought in the First World War, until he fell ill with tuberculosis. Despite a decline in his health, he continued to draw and paint. His later work shows a return to traditional realism; a nod to his early artistic training.