Monday, September 26, 2016

Some André Derain Landscapes

André Derain (1880-1954) is probably best known for joining with Henri Matisse in creating Fauvism in the early years of the 20th century. But that was as far as he got along the modernist path -- using plenty of bright colors not always associated with the actual subject matter. He did make use of noticeable distortion, but did not follow Braque and Picasso into Cubism. So far as I know, he did not make abstract paintings: he always featured a recognizable subject.

Some background on Derain can be found here.

Derain was prolific, so this post features only landscapes to indicate changes in style. So far as I can tell, his paintings always included several of the modernist traits of form distortion, simplification of forms, flattening of the picture plane, and color distortion. The number of traits used and their intensity varied for any given work.


Banks of the Seine at Chatou - c.1899

Jardin aux environs de Chatou - c.1900
These are early Derain paintings made before Fauvism.  Colors are only slightly more intense than they were in reality for the upper painting. At this point, he is mainly simplifying and flattening.

Landscape Near Chatou - 1904
This is a Fauvist painting.

Pont sur le Lot - 1912
While Derain was fiddling with a few Cubist ideas, he easily dropped back to his pre-Fauve pattern.

La route - 1932
Here he actually uses perspective to partly puncture the picture plane, though flatly painted areas mitigate that to a degree.

Vue de Donnemarie-en-Montois - c.1942
Painted during World War 2, this is about as close to traditional painting as Derain ever got. Only the foreground simplification suggests his modernist impulses.

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