Henri Matisse André Derain 1905

Artwork details

Henri Matisse 1869–1954
André Derain
Date 1905
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 394 x 289 mm
frame: 550 x 471 x 75 mm
Acquisition Purchased with assistance from the Knapping Fund, the Art Fund and the Contemporary Art Society and private subscribers 1954
Not on display

Display caption

Matisse and Derain painted portraits of each other while staying at the port of Collioure in the south of France. Using vivid, apparently arbitrary, colours, Matisse has captured the sensation of sunlight striking the sitter's face and casting a heavy shadow down one side. He has also tried to create a dynamic but balanced relationship between complementary colours, such as blue and orange, red and green. Complementary colours 'complete' each other: they are at their most intense when placed together. Matisse adjusted his colours to obtain the maximum intensity. This non-naturalistic use of colour can be seen as a radical development of certain aspects of Impressionist art, and it led the critics to dub Matisse a 'fauve' (wild beast).

August 2004