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Dive Deep Into the Works of Fauvist André Derain

 André Derain was born in 1880 in Chatou, France. Along with the well-known Henri Matisse, they founded the artistic movement now known as Fauvism on the basis of Impressionism. The name Fauvism came from a French art critic, who visited an exhibition of the young artists. There was a sculpture in the middle of the gallery and the works of Derain and fellow artists were hanging on the surrounding walls. The critic, who was shocked by the unrefined new style, wrote that the sculpture was surrounded by Fauves - the French word for beasts. To everyone's surprise, Derain and his fellow artists proudly accepted the name. 
For his legacy, Derain searched for an artistic style that would be timeless and relevant to any generation. In his works, Derain would marvel at the wonders of everyday scenes around him. His paintings explode with vibrant colors and light, accentuated by visible and dynamic brushstrokes. The paintings, "truly wild," as one critic once said, almost dance before your eyes!
Learn more about André Derain's legacy here, and watch the full body of his works here

Waterloo Bridge, 1906

This exquisite piece is part of a series commissioned by a French art merchant. Derain was captivated by London, and this is a motif we'll see in other paintings on the list. He was also inspired by the English painter William Turner. This specific painting is a great example of the Fauvists' relationship with paint. 
In this painting, Derain used colors directly from the tube, he didn't mix them at all. Here, we see the use of a technique called pointillism that creates the illusion of a mosaic. When employing this technique, the artist uses short and sharp brushstrokes that almost look like dots. Hence, the name POINT-illism. Derain started practicing this technique in the summer he spent in Collioure. 

Boats at Collioure, 1905

In addition to co-founding an entire artistic movement, Derain's works and techniques also influenced Pablo Picasso in his development of Cubism. These are geometrical works, influenced partially by the pointillism technique. Derain was also one of the first to collect tribal art from Africa after seeing an exhibition of these masks at a museum in London. This gave rise to Picasso's and other Cubists' interest in Tribal art as well. 

Charing Cross Bridge, London, 1906

Before pursuing the path of arts, Derain went to study engineering. He soon left, describing the experience as "a far more bitter memory for me than the darkest hours of my military career." He began his training as an artist at age 15, and three years later, Derain entered the Paris studio of the Symbolist painter Eugene Carriere. This influenced his will to create timelessness in his paintings. Symbolist art does not need any context, and neither do the works of Derain. 

Landscape near Chatou, 1904

Charing Cross Bridge, 1906

London Bridge, 1906

At the time Derain painted this bridge, it was still considered a new marvel of modern architecture. The new bridges over the Thames were part of a plan to modernize the city center with brand new architectural projects. This painting is one of 30 paintings he produced during his two-month stay in the city. His special interest in London goes hand in hand with the contemporary character of Fauvism, as the British capital was the capital of modernism. 

Effect of Sun on the Water, London, 1906

The Palace of Westminster, 1906-1907

Mountains at Collioure, 1905

It is interesting to note that Fauvism wasn't the only style in Derain's body of works. He also worked within the style of Classicism and experimented a little with Cubism, although he ditched this style pretty quickly. In person, Derain was described as independent, extravagant, and even argumentative. He was always in the frantic search after free expressions of emotion, connection to nature, and escaping harsh realities. 

The Port of Collioure, 1905

L'Estaque (Turning Road), 1905

The Port of Collioure, 1905

The Palace of Westminster, 1906-1907

The Bridge, view on the river, 1905

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