Nude on a Sofa

Nu au canapé

Here Derain takes up the theme of a nude female figure lying stretched out, a classic since the Renaissance and which had already been revisited by Edouard Manet (1832-1883) and Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919). The young woman depicted is thought to be Raymonde Knaublieh, a young model with whom Derain had a son a few years later. Represented in life-size, leaning on her right side, she is poised in an artificial and uncomfortable pose, with one wrist bent backwards. Her pale body stands out from the dark green seat and backdrop. The contrast between the dark and light colours is accentuated by two pink and white textiles, perhaps the model's clothes, lying on either side of her legs, as well as by the black drapery placed vertically over her body. There are no contours outlining her body. The legs are painted in long, smooth strokes, while tight brushstrokes illuminate the face, bust and stomach. The model's face is that of a modern woman of the times: short hair, very fine eyebrows and small deep-red lips.
Paul Guillaume must have particularly liked this work as he printed a reproduction in the 18th issue of his magazine Les Arts à Paris in July 1931.

Provenance: Paul Guillaume; Domenica Walter