André Derain

André Derain
Fonds Alain Bouret / DR
Corps de texte

André Derain started to paint at a very early age, often in the company of Maurice de Vlaminck, with whom he painted in the open air in the vicinity of Paris. In 1905, after a summer spent in Collioure with Henri Matisse, he was one of the “Fauve” painters at that year’s Autumn Salon, an exhibition that introduced him to the public and the avant-garde. In 1909, the art dealer Daniel-Henri Kahnweiler commissioned him to create woodcuts to illustrate Guillaume Apollinaire’s L’Enchanteur pourrissant (The Rotting Magician).

In 1911, after a brief flirtation with cubism, Derain changed style and made a return to tradition. On the front during the First World War, along with many other artists, Derain no longer painted but his reputation nonetheless continued to grow in Paris. In 1916, the young Paul Guillaume exhibited his work at his gallery on Avenue de Villiers in Paris. In 1919, the Director of the Ballets Russes, Serge de Diaghilev (1872-1929), asked him to create the sets for the ballet La Boutique fantasque (The Magic Toyshop). It was the beginning of a career as a set designer that was to last until 1953.

In the 1920s, André Derain was regarded as the finest representative of the French tradition; he received the Carnegie Prize in 1928, an award that won him major international prestige. However, his controversial participation in French artists’ visit to Germany in 1941 left a lasting stain on his reputation and career.
Derain remained under contract to Paul Guillaume from 1923 until the latter’s death. The art dealer owned dozens of the artist’s works produced in the 1920s and 1930s, and his widow Domenica, who was a great admirer of his art, kept twenty-eight of them.

View André Derain’s works