Marcel Dyf abandoned engineering to become a painter. He spent some months studying in a Paris studio, then explored Provence and settled first in Arles and later in Paris. He then divided his time between the Paris area and Cannes.
Dyf's art derived from classical tradition and from moderate Post-Impressionism. His landscapes, which form the greater part of his output, are often painted in shades of ochre and in horizontal planes, with additional matter worked in. He produced many in the Île-de-France, in Provence where he lived, in Brittany and Normandy, in Venice, Morocco and Israel. He also painted portraits and figures, in the 1950s often of gypsy women, and frequently of his wife Claudine. He produced decorative work in the town halls of Stes-Maries de la Mer (Camargue) and St-Martin-de-Crau (Arles), and painted frescoes in the Musée Arlaten in Arles in 1936.
In Paris he exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français, the Salon d'Automne and the Tuileries. He also had solo shows in Paris, three of them at the Galerie Petrides, and from 1956 in London at the Frost and Reed Gallery. In 1995 the General Council of Bouches-du-Rhône put on a retrospective exhibition of his early work, and in 1999 an exhibition at L'Espace Dyf in Bois-d'Arcy commemorated the hundredth anniversary of his birth.
Museum and Gallery Holdings
Geneva (Petit Palais): Gipsy Scene
Nice (Mus. de la Ville): The Place Masséna at the Liberation
Pittsburgh (Carnegie MA): Flowers