Christie’s Brings Unseen André Derain To The Open Market

Christie’s France has recently brought to light a remarkable piece of art history with the unveiling of a previously unseen masterpiece by André Derain, titled With Matisse and Terrus.

Created in the pivotal year of 1905, this painting stands as a testament to the burgeoning Fauvist movement, a period marked by its bold use of colour and expressive brushwork.

With an estimated value between €2,000,000 and €3,000,000, this rare find is poised to be the highlight of Christie’s upcoming Art Impressioniste & Moderne – Œuvres Choisies evening sale on April 9th in Paris.

Provenance and Historical Significance

The journey of this exceptional artwork from the hands of André Derain to the esteemed collection of Etienne Terrus is a tale steeped in the rich tapestry of early 20th-century art.

The painting, With Matisse and Terrus, not only embodies the physical confluence of these towering figures of Fauvism but also symbolises the confluence of their artistic ideologies and personal camaraderie.

The fact that this piece has remained within the same private collection for nearly 120 years, escaping the public eye, adds layers of intrigue and mystique to its provenance, making its unveiling a momentous event in the art world.

The backdrop of Collioure, with its idyllic landscapes and luminous light, played a pivotal role in the creation of this masterpiece. It was here, amidst the tranquil chaos of nature and the vibrant local life, that Derain and Matisse found the inspiration to push the boundaries of traditional art.

The painting serves as a vivid document of this transformative period, capturing not just the physical likeness of Matisse and Terrus but also the ephemeral essence of a summer that would forever alter the course of modern art.

The Birth of Fauvism in Collioure

Collioure, with its unique blend of natural beauty and cultural vibrancy, provided the perfect catalyst for the radical departure from traditional art forms that would come to define Fauvism.

For Derain and Matisse, the village was more than just a scenic retreat; it was an open-air studio where the Mediterranean light and landscape acted as co-conspirators in their artistic rebellion.

Derain, in particular, absorbed the vivid colours and dynamic energy of Collioure, channelling them into his works with unprecedented freedom and intensity.

This transformative summer was not just about the birth of new art; it was about the forging of new artistic identities. Derain, who had never before experienced such a profound connection with a place, found in Collioure the key to unlocking a new visual language.

Christie's Brings Unseen André Derain To The Open Market
Andre Derain Matisse Et Terrus 1905

The bold, unapologetic use of colour and the departure from representational accuracy in With Matisse and Terrus are testaments to the liberating influence of Collioure on Derain’s artistic sensibilities, marking a definitive break from his previous works and setting the stage for the Fauvist revolution.

A Canvas of Friendship and Innovation

The painting, With Matisse and Terrus, transcends its role as a mere portrait, embodying the spirit of collaboration and mutual inspiration that defined the relationship between Derain, Matisse, and Terrus.

The relaxed, almost introspective poses of Matisse and Terrus, set against the backdrop of a Collioure terrace, reflect a moment of calm in the midst of a creative storm.

This tableau is a poignant reminder of the personal connections that underpinned the avant-garde movements of the time, illustrating how personal relationships can profoundly influence artistic direction and innovation.

The unveiling of this painting at the 1905 Salon d’Automne was a watershed moment for the Fauvist movement, challenging the artistic conventions of the time and laying the groundwork for the modern art movements that would follow.

The bold, unbridled use of colour and the dynamic, almost abstract forms captured in this painting were a declaration of independence from the traditional art establishment, signalling the arrival of a new era in art.

“Christie’s France is honored to present Matisse and Terrus, a counterpart to Matisse’s renowned portrait housed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. While both paintings of 1905 depict Matisse seated at the same table, our offering boasts a richer complexity, making it a remarkable find not just for the art market, but for the art history.”

Valérie Didier

Derain’s Artistic Vision

In With Matisse and Terrus, Derain’s departure from the representational to the realm of pure expression is palpable. Each brushstroke and colour choice is a deliberate move away from depicting reality, aiming instead to convey the emotional and psychological undercurrents of the scene.

This approach was revolutionary, challenging the viewer to see beyond the surface and engage with the artwork on a more intuitive, emotional level.

Derain’s technique in this painting is not just about the application of colour; it’s about the redefinition of painting as an act of emotional expression.

The thick, impasto strokes and the juxtaposition of bold, unmodulated colours serve not just as stylistic choices but as manifestations of Derain’s desire to capture the intangible – the mood, the light, and the atmosphere of that summer in Collioure.

This painting stands as a testament to Derain’s vision of art as a medium of pure expression, unbound by the constraints of realism.

Conclusion: A Milestone in Art History

The revelation of With Matisse and Terrus by Christie’s is more than just the unveiling of a long-hidden masterpiece; it is a celebration of the enduring legacy of Fauvism and its pioneers.

This painting, with its rich historical context and profound artistic significance, offers a unique window into the creative ferment of the early 20th century, reminding us of the power of art to transcend time and place.

As this painting prepares for its public debut, it stands not only as a vibrant testament to Derain’s genius but also as a beacon for the enduring relevance of Fauvist principles in contemporary art.

The unveiling of this masterpiece is a pivotal moment, offering both scholars and enthusiasts a deeper understanding of the intricate tapestry of relationships, influences, and innovations that shaped the course of modern art.

Images: Christie’s

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