Unknown Andre Derain

Well, was unknown to me. I always saw his art in connection to his buddy, Matisse. But of course many artists who are known from their "something"-ist styles started with realism, or returned to it. The works of Derain I will attach below are in the Paris Musee d'Orangerie collection most known by the panoramic waterlilies of Monet. Yes, there are works by Picasso, Matisse and even Soutine that will hurt your feelings after seeing Monet but most of that of Derain are just fine. I thought that they belong to the beginning of his career but they are actually from the later years - he did depart from fauvisme then.



  • @outremer Well, Derain is completely unknown to me, or so I thought, but then I recalled the name from somewhere and hiding in dim memory. Doubt I would have managed to find it without your mention of fauvism.
    The only time previously that Andre Derain had passed near me was about fifty years ago through a set of Art History evening classes attendant to an Art Foundation Course I'd enrolled on. The foundation course was a bit disappointing, and the art history classes more so and fauvism – albeit briefly – then and there raised its cruel and ugly head.
    In fairness to the young Mr Derain, what might he most likely have fallen victim to? In my own mid-twenties it was barmaids, but if Derain's ambitions at that age were more painterly might he not have been seduced differently? By his in-the-moment 'new-wave' painter friends for example, and additionally, more commercially savvy non-painting agencies such as gallery owners and other persuaders.
    It makes you wonder: a painter of moderate but quite acceptable talent and producing nothing that – outside the fauvism blip – I would feel ashamed of having made. Why did he change direction?
    More important perhaps is how and why did the new and extravagant approaches to art occur at the time they did? And so hurriedly, and in such abundance. So many 'isms', all emerging in a relatively short timeline. And why so significantly, emerging in and around Paris? One possible answer might be to blame Japan?
    The following suggestion isn't my own thinking, it was an idea I met with some years ago, pre-internet, and I don't think I read it, so most likely I picked it up from a TV documentary. The suggestion was that following the opening up of Japan to the world (in the latter half of the 1800s). That might likely have caused a tsunami of awareness of, and interest in, Japanese art. And particularly in Parisian culture which prided itself on being avant-garde. That craze, trend, or sudden shift in fashion - or whatever it was - might perhaps have created fertile ground for opportunism to grow roots. On the other hand of course, the little man sitting in the telly and talking at me might have been completely wrong. After all, it was just a small box in a corner of my sitting room and it is difficult to imagine how from there he was capable of achieving a very broad world view.
    Best rgds, Duncan
  • edited October 10
    Japanese prints are frequently mentioned as one of the factors. But there is much more. Spread of new things like tubed paint, new pigments, new technology like photography and research in light nature (brought us pointillism). But that was available all across Europe.

    Why France? They wanted to be leaders, like others too, but did much more that others for that. I remember reading that in ancient Rome theatre was free or almost free. France continued similar traditions. Tickets for the annual Salon were cheap. State sponsored most successful artists to spend time in Rome. Even when Gauguin planned to move to Tahiti, he first tried to get that financed by the state. Got refusal but there was some process for such things. That, plus the changes in the society caused by all perturbations, revolutions. Nice brew to ignite all the isms.

    And they continue the tradition of art support by the state even today. Just  a practical fact: Adjusted for purchasing power, it costs an Italian resident almost twice more to visit Uffizi than for French to visit Louvre.
  • Thank you for your follow-up detail @outremer, and particularly regarding the Japanese art influence. I wasn't aware that potential had perhaps been expressed more widely and known generally.
    Also, it hadn't occurred to me to consider the societal and political attitudes of a post-revolution France. More I was considering - in my mind - what potential or attractions there might have been at that time to encourage painters to prostitute and/or abandon the ethic of technical discipline, as painters. You very kindly have assisted by applying some clarity, so thank you again.  :) 
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