André Derain was an outstanding French painter, graphic artist, decorator of theatrical performances, sculptor who experienced various modernist trends in painting. Derain’s work is characterized by virtuoso work with contrasts of color spots and geometric shapes. He painted pictures in the style of Fauvism, pointillism, then joined the Cubists, and later – to the classics.
André Derain, possessing extensive historical and artistic knowledge, considered art “the memory of generations.”
Biography of Andre Derain
André Derain was born on June 10, 1880 in Chatou, a provincial town ten kilometers west of Paris. From childhood, the boy was drawn to painting. He studied engineering at the Parisian academy Academie Camillo and at the same time studied at the school of Eugène Carrière (fr. Eugène Carrière).
In 1901, Derain was drafted into the army, after which the young man managed to convince his parents that his life was a service to art. The painter first attracted the attention of connoisseurs of beauty at the Autumn Salon of 1905 and at the Salon of the Independent in 1907. At that time, in his works of art there was an exaltation of color, dominating the outlines of real objects.
In 1908, the style of Derain’s masterpieces changed under the influence of Cubism. Conservatism in relation to color, rationalistic clarity of compositions and simplified geometry appeared.
In 1914, the First World War began.
Until 1917, Derain took part in military operations in Champagne, on the Somme, at Verdun, in the Vosges mountains. Once in the magazine “Action” there was an erroneous publication about the death of the painter, and the writer Karl Einstein (Karl Einstein) wrote a poem on his death. The artist was not seriously injured, but more than three years of military affairs radically changed his perception of the world. After demobilization, Andre Derain painted a lot, designed ballet performances. In the period from 1920 to 1924, four books were published about the master’s work, he became an officially recognized artist. His credibility also increased thanks to the award of the Carnegie Prize in 1928.
In 1941, together with other cultural figures, the famous painter went to Nazi Germany, hoping to help the French comrades who were in prison.
The attempt was unsuccessful.
And the trip itself played a fatal role: after the Second World War, Derain was accused of collaboration.
In the last years of his life, André Derain designed performances in London at Covent Garden, at the Comic Opera in Paris, created landscape masterpieces in Normandy, and illustrated books. The artist died on September 8, 1954.
The work of André Derain is striking in its emotionality and versatility. His luxurious chromatic works show the extraordinary talent of the Frenchman.