Henri Matisse

André Derain


Not on display

Henri Matisse 1869–1954
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 394 × 289 mm
frame: 550 × 471 × 75 mm
Purchased with assistance from the Knapping Fund, the Art Fund and the Contemporary Art Society and private subscribers 1954

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).

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

Henri Matisse 1869-1954

N06241 André Derain 1905

Inscribed 'HM' b.r. and 'MATISSE' down side of stretcher
Oil on canvas, 15 1/2 x 11 3/8 (39.5 x 29)
Purchased from the Rees Jeffreys sale (Knapping Fund) with the aid of the NACF, the CAS and private subscribers 1954
Prov: Michael Stein, Paris; Christian Tetzen Lund, Copenhagen; Tetzen Lund sale, Frie Udstilling, Copenhagen, 18-19 May 1925, lot 86 as 'Buste d'un Maroquin', 40 x 29cm; bt. in; with Galerie Pierre, Paris, 1927; W. Rees Jeffreys, Wivelsfield Green, Sussex, 1928; Jeffreys sale, Christie's, London, 26 November 1954, lot 113
Exh: Henri-Matisse, Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, February 1910 (28) as 'Portrait' 1905, lent by M.M.S.; Henri Matisse, Kunstsalon Fritz Gurlitt, Berlin, July-August 1914 (7); Henri Matisse, Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, September 1924 (40); Les Sources du XXe Siècle, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris, November 1960-January 1961 (432); Matisse 1869-1954, Hayward Gallery, London, July-September 1968 (32, repr.); The 'Wild Beasts': Fauvism and its Affinities, Museum of Modern Art, New York, March-June 1976 (works not numbered, repr. in black and white, and in colour); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, June-August 1976 (works not numbered, repr. in black and white, and in colour); Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, September-October 1976 (works not numbered, repr. in black and white, and in colour)
Lit: Alfred H. Barr, Jr., Matisse: his Art and his Public (New York 1951), pp.54-5, 178, 540-1; Mario Luzi and Massimo Carrà, L'Opera di Matisse dalla Rivolta 'Fauve' all'Intimismo 1904-1928 (Milan 1971), No. 45, p.86, repr. p.87 and pl.VI in colour
Repr: Georges Duthuit, Les Fauves (Geneva 1949), p.62; John Rothenstein, The Tate Gallery (London 1966), p.256

A portrait of the painter André Derain (1880-1954), executed at Collioure in the summer of 1905 at the same time as the portrait of Matisse by Derain also in the collection (T00165).

Though the portrait of Matisse had always been in the possession of the Matisse family until acquired, there is no definite evidence that this picture ever belonged to Derain. Mme Derain, whose memories of Derain's studio went back to the end of 1907, had no recollection of seeing it there: she believed that he may have exchanged it for some other work by Matisse. 'However that be', she wrote, 'it is certain that this portrait played a role both happy and fortunate in the life of André Derain, for his parents, hitherto very mistrustful towards their son's love for painting, were favourably impressed by the seriousness and good breeding of Henri Matisse; it is from this moment that they began to gain a little confidence in this unwelcome profession. In fact as a result of the visit to Collioure where André was the guest of Monsieur and Madame Matisse, his parents, if they helped him but little, at least discouraged him less. My husband always spoke with joy of that period of his life and of the stay which the master and his wife obtained for him' (letter of 28 November 1956). A photograph of Michael and Sarah Stein's apartment in Paris taken early in 1908 already shows this picture hanging on the wall among the other Matisses in their collection. (The photograph is reproduced in the exhibition catalogue Four Americans in Paris, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1970, p.45).

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.492-3, reproduced p.492

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