Lot 38
  • 38

André Derain

Estimate
1,800,000 - 2,500,000 USD
Sold
2,530,000 USD
bidding is closed

Description

  • André Derain
  • Vue de Cassis
  • Stamped with the signature Derain (lower right)
  • Oil on canvas

Provenance

Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, Paris (acquired from the artist)

René Gimpel, Paris

André Derain, Paris (acquired from the above in 1930 in exchange for two other recently executed paintings)

Mme. Alice Derain, Paris

Francis Carco, Paris (acquired from the above)

Wildenstein & Co., New York (acquired from the above)

Private Collection (acquired from the above in the early 1970s and sold: Sotheby’s, New York, November 17, 1998, lot 302)

Acquired at the above sale

Literature

Georges Hilaire, Derain, Geneva, 1959, no. 57, illustrated p. 57

Nina Kalitina, André Derain, Leningrad, 1976, n.n., illustrated p. 127

Michael Kellermann, André Derain, Catalogue raisonné de l’oeuvre peint, Paris, 1992, no. 122, illustrated p. 77

Catalogue Note

Vue de Cassis holds an important place in André Derain’s early career as an emblem of his Fauvist aesthetic of 1906.  This bold landscape, executed with broad swaths of color and line, embodies an energy and vigor that defined the spirit of Derain and his colleagues Matisse, Vlaminck and Braque between 1905-1907.  Commenting on the Fauve movement of which he was a leading innovator, Derain remarked, “Fauvism was our ordeal by fire. No matter how far we moved away from things, in order to observe them and transpose them at our leisure, it was never far enough. Colors became charges of dynamite. They were expected to discharge light. It was a fine idea, in its freshness, that everything could be raised above the real. It was serious too. With our flat tones, we even preserved a concern for mass, giving for example to a spot of sand a heaviness it did not possess, in order to bring out the fluidity of the water, the lightness of the sky... The great merit of this method was to free the picture from all imitative and conventional contact.” However, dissatisfaction soon set in: “What was wrong in our attitude was a kind of fear of imitating life, which made us approach things from too far off and led us to hasty judgments. Where there is temperament, there can be no imitation. Thus it became necessary for us to return to more cautious attitudes, to lay in a store of resources from the outset, to secure patiently for each painting a long development” (quoted in Denys Sutton, André Derain, London, 1959, pp. 20-21).

Derain's subject here is the brilliant blue expanse of the Mediterranean as seen from the hilltops at Cassis to the east of Marseille.  The Cote d'Azur was a favored location among the Fauvist painters, as the brilliant light of the French coast created irresistible conditions for capturing the radiance of color.  Not long after it was completed, Derain sold this painting through his dealer Daniel Henry Kahnweiler in Paris.  The artist was able to take possession of the work once again in 1930, when he exchanged two of his recently painted works for this one from the dealer René Gimpel.  The picture remained with Derain until his death and was inherited by his widow.  It was then acquired by the poet Francis Caro (1886-1958), who was a close friend of the Derain family. Wildenstein Gallery then purchased the picture from the Caro family through Mrs. Jean Walter (ex. Mrs. Paul Guillaume) and sold it to a private collector in the 1970s.

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