André Derain

André Derain is a modern painter born on 10 June 1880 in Chatou and died on 8 September 1954 in Garches. With Matisse, whom he joined in Collioure in 1905, he created Fauvism, one of the most important aesthetic revolutions of the 20th century. He exhibited at the 1905 Salon d’Automne with other Fauvist artists such as Matisse, Vlaminck, Braque and Marquet and was represented by the great merchant Ambroise Vollard. A curious and self-taught artist, before taking classes at the Académie Julian, he strolled through museums and became interested in poetry and literature, where he nourished his aesthetic reflection. The young painter was mobilized from 1914 to 1919, and this ordeal profoundly marked his return to artistic practice. He distanced himself from the fauvism and cubism of Braque and Picasso and broke with the Avant-gardes. He returned to more traditional and obscure painting and his painting was even described as “counter-revolutionary” in opposition to that of Picasso and Matisse. During the German Occupation Derain refused to get involved in Vichy’s cultural and artistic policy, accepting no official responsibility. Yet after the liberation rumours of collaboration will strike the reputation of the painter. Shocked and bruised by these allegations, he withdrew to his house in Chambourcy with his family and immersed himself in the creation of sets and costumes for ballets and operas. He died in 1954. Derain made art history and leaves behind an important work that still attracts collectors and art lovers.

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