Friday, March 14, 2008

Andre Derain

Andre Derain was such a star during most of his life but I would guess that many of you hadn’t heard of him before yesterday’s post on fauvism. After today, all that will be changed!

Andre Derain was born in 1880 just outside of Paris to a pastry chef. He was a terrible student but he was great at drawing and, when he was fifteen, began painting lessons. It was because of these lessons that Derain met
Henri Matisse who would also become a fauvist.

In 1900, Derain and his new friend, Maurice de Vlaminck, rented an old restaurant to use as a studio. During this time Derain
studied the works of the masters that hung in the Louvre and he visited new exhibits to keep up to date on the happenings in the art world. He was called into military service at the end of 1900 but before he left he introduced Vlaminck and Matisse, thus paving the way for fauvism.

When he returned from the service in 1904, Derain’s career began to pick up. A wealthy art collector bought all the paintings in his studio in 1905, then Derain showed at the Salon des Independants where he sold four paintings. Later that year he showed at the Salon d’Automne where the fauvist movement got its name. (Shown below is Collioure.)

In 1906, the art collector who had bought out Derain’s studio wanted more paintings. Derain went to London to create these paintings which became some his most popular and most famous. Below is London Bridge, one of thirty paintings Dearain completed in London.
Late in 1906, Derain met
Picasso. This friendship would last for many years and Picasso would influence Derain to experiment with cubism (like in the painting shown below, Cubist Grove, which is cubist more in color than in overall style) as the fauvists began to move on to other styles.
Derain illustrated two books around this time, one by Guillaume Apollinaire and a book of poetry by Max Jacob.

Around 1911, Derain’s work began to show the influence of the old masters he had studied at the Louvre. In 1914 he was again called into military service. When he finished his duty in 1919 he continued to develop in this more classical style. Below is Portrait of a Young Girl in Black, an early example of Derain's later style.
Derain became even more popular and he was thought highly of throughout the art world and beyond. In the year leading up to World War II, however, Derain’s downfall began. Hitler’s foreign minister wanted Derain to paint a family portrait. Derain did not paint the portrait but he did go to Germany on an official visit. This was not a popular thing to have done and after the war Derain could never regain his position in the art world. Several negative books were published about him during his lifetime which made him unsure about his work. He couldn’t create the way he used to.

He lived his final year with an eye infection and was then killed by a car in 1954.

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Current NaNoEdMo Hour Count: 13.5/50hours
Yeah. I'm not doing so well with this but those 13.5 hours have made a huge difference.


Anonymous said...

I love Andre Derain! Nice images chosen.

Jessica said...

I'm so glad to hear that! I like him a lot, too, especially his colorful, fauvist paintings.

Unknown said...

I am an Art History student and I have to commend you on your excellent knowledge. I am in love with your blog as it provides the simple and essential information on each artist. I hate having to scroll through twenty pages of wikipedia to find out a basic biography, instead I come to your site. Thanks so much :)