ANDRÉ DERAIN (1880-1954)
ANDRÉ DERAIN (1880-1954)
ANDRÉ DERAIN (1880-1954)
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ANDRÉ DERAIN (1880-1954)

Buste de femme

ANDRÉ DERAIN (1880-1954)
Buste de femme
signed and dedicated 'a derain à mon amie' (lower right)
oil on board laid down on cradled panel
26 1/8 x 20 7/8 in. (66.4 x 53 cm.)
Painted in 1904
Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York.
Acquired from the above by the late owner, March 1957.
M. Kellermann, André Derain: Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, Paris, 1992, vol. I, p. 217, no. 353 (illustrated).
Sale room notice
Please note, this lot is now offered without reserve.

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Lot Essay

Painted in 1904, Buste de femme dates from a period of incredible transformation in Derain’s career. Four years earlier, in the summer of 1900, he had met Maurice de Vlaminck on a train from Paris to Chatou, a picturesque suburb set on the Seine northwest of Paris. When their train derailed, the pair of budding young artists immediately struck up a friendship, and met the next day to paint. Soon they began sharing a studio in Chatou, painting side by side en plein air and experimenting with an increasingly bold palette and thick, impastoed paint handling. “Each of us set up his easel”, Vlaminck recalled. “Derain facing Chatou…myself to one side, attracted by the poplars. Naturally I finished first. I walked over to Derain holding my canvas against my legs so that he couldn’t see it. I looked at his picture. Solid, skillful, powerful, already a Derain. ‘What about yours?’ he said. I spun my canvas around. Derain looked at it in silence for a minute, nodded his head and declared, ‘Very fine’. That was the starting point of all Fauvism” (Vlaminck, quoted in J. Elderfield, The “Wild Beasts”: Fauvism and its affinities, exh. cat., The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1976, p. 30).
This moment of intense artistic synergy was curtailed however in the autumn of 1901 when Derain began three years of mandatory military service. Finally, in September 1904, Derain returned to his native Chatou “full of energy and hope” (Vlaminck, quoted in J. Freeman, The Fauve Landscape, exh. cat., Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1990, p. 64), as Vlaminck described, and the pair quickly picked up where they had left off, their partnership resuming their two-man “School of Chatou.” Derain resumed painting, eager to make up for lost time. “In 1904, Fauvism was at the height of fashion,” Derain reminisced four decades later. “It had been an attraction for at least five years, part of the atmosphere and people’s habits” (quoted in G. Diehl, Derain, New York, 1977, pp. 16 and 21).

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