Raoul Dufy, one of the most vivacious and colourful French artists of the first half of the twentieth century, was known as a "painter of joy". After passing through a fascination with Fauvism, he combined an interest in rich, bright colour with remarkably fine drawing. In this landscape Dufy depicts the southern port and resort of Deauville on France's main public holiday, July 14, which celebrates the storming of the Bastille. Light black strokes are used to indicate the outlines of buildings and boats, almost turning the picture into an ornamental pattern. The various shades of blue which dominate the scene are animated by the boats' flags and bright silhouettes of the buildings. This combination of rich, decorative colour with rapid, light drawing gives the picture a feeling of space and sea air.