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The Cover
September 19, 2001

Le Pantheon et Saint-Etienne-du-Mont

Author Affiliations

The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2001;286(11):1282. doi:10.1001/jama.286.11.1282

When Raoul Dufy (1877-1953) saw the paintings of Henri Matisse and other Fauves for the first time at the Salon d'Automne in Paris in 1905 it was as though scales had fallen from his eyes. Impressionism (or Naturalism, as it was sometimes called), though revolutionary at its beginnings, had been around now for some three decades. Once a challenge to Dufy in the early days of his training, the style had become far too tame for his aspirations. Nothing short of what these "wild beasts" were doing (as a journalist had dubbed Matisse and others at the Salon d'Automne exhibition) could express what he had to say. Yet at first Dufy's discovery was cause only for despair: How could he possibly, with only brushes and paint, render the scene before him as he saw it in his mind's eye? How could he express the truth, the reality of what he saw? And—cause for even deeper despair—how could he express not only the reality of the scene, but reality itself, not only the image, but its existence, its very essence? "How can I succeed in rendering," he asked, "not what I see, but what is, what has existence for me, my reality?"

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