Kitchen Table

Around 1922-1925, André Derain painted a series of great still lifes representing kitchen utensils and characterised by a static construction and dark hues where the colour brown dominates. This Table de cuisine [Kitchen Table] is one of the most important in the series; it was displayed and reproduced starting in 1927 and quickly gained success.
Here the ordinary utensils are arranged in a very intentional manner and are lit only from the right. The painter also plays with forms and colours. Some of the objects form the shape of a cross: the frying pan forms the centre, while its handle, the grill, the wooden spoon and the half baguette form the four arms. A few lighter-coloured objects stand out in front of the walls and on the table: the white fruit bowl in the upper right echoes the towel and the plates piled up on the left. Finally the round shapes in the back of the painting: the lettuce basket, the sieve, the frying pan, the carafe and the fruit bowl contrast with the straight lines in the foreground: the baguette, the forks and knives, the grill, etc.
Art critics in the 1930s drew similarities between this still life and Caravaggio's paintings (1571-1610) marked by contrasts of light and dark. According to André Derain's wife, this painting was done in the villa of "La Janette" in Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer, near Marseilles, where the artist stayed over two summers

Provenance: Paul Guillaume en 1928; Domenica Walter