André Derain
Madame Derain in a White Shawl c.1919–20

Artwork details

André Derain 1880–1954
Madame Derain in a White Shawl
Madame Derain au châle blanc
Date c.1919–20
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 1955 x 975 mm
frame: 2125 x 1136 x 62 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1982
Not on display

Display caption

In this portrait of his wife Alice, Derain has adopted some of the compositional and stylistic devices of early Italian Renaissance art, which he greatly admired. The space inside the image is flattened and outline is emphasised at the expense of volume. The figure appears stiff and immobile, her face an impassive and generalised mask. At the same time, the stark contrast of the white shawl against the black dress can be seen as reflecting Derain's philosophical interest in the relationship of the spiritual and material worlds, symbolised for him by light and dark.

August 2004

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