© 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Place made: Paris, France

The Serpent, 1911

Woodcut
block: 20.4 × 19.3 cm (8 1/16 × 7 5/8 in.)
sheet: 29 x 23 cm. (11 7/16 x 9 1/16 in.)
Gift of Nathan Chaikin
x1968-107
© 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
In 1911, the French poet Guillaume Apollinaire published The Bestiary, or Procession of Orpheus, a collection of thirty poems illustrated with woodcuts by Raoul Dufy. The book's format and the decorative simplicity of its woodcut illustrations recall a medieval bestiary—a natural history of animals intended to provide moral and religious instruction. Dufy worked closely with Apollinaire to develop each woodcut image, some of which—including this image of a serpent—passed through several preliminary stages before the final versions were approved.