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Portrait of Henri Matisse

André Derain, French, 1880 - 1954

Date:
c. 1905

Medium:
Oil on canvas

Dimensions:
13 x 16 1/8 inches (33 x 41 cm)

Copyright:
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Curatorial Department:
Modern Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1952-61-22

Credit Line:
A. E. Gallatin Collection, 1952

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Label:
In July 1905 André Derain visited Henri Matisse in Collioure, France, a small fishing village near the Spanish border, where they embarked on an extremely productive pictorial collaboration. Rendered in a rhythmic scheme of primary colors, the younger artist's portrait of his older mentor captures the excitement of that summer, when their shared quest for pure, liberated color developed into the style known today as Fauvism. With his pants rolled up above his ankles, Matisse sits on a flimsy beach chair beside a folding table containing a large red water pot that he had recently bought in the Spanish village of Llansa.

Additional information:
  • PublicationMasterpieces from the Philadelphia Museum of Art: Impressionism and Modern Art

    In July 1905, André Derain visited Henri Matisse in Collioure, a French coastal village near the Spanish border. In contrast to the seaside resort Saint Tropez, where Matisse had vacationed and painted in 1904, Collioure was in 1905 a port town and an authentic fishing village in decline. Guidebooks at the time emphasize Collioure's light and color as its most famous attractions, and letters from Derain to friends in Paris record that the rendering of light and shadow was a topic much discussed by the two artists. This painting is one of three portraits of Matisse made by Derain, which combine a younger artist's representation of his older mentor with a souvenir of the summer when the two most influenced one another's work. Matisse is shown through a doorway, seated at a folding table by the sea. Barefoot, with his pants rolled up above his ankles, he sits on a flimsy beach chair. Thick daubs of saturated pigment transform delicate dots of Pointillism into a bold style of individual brushstrokes placed side by side or one above the other. The result is a mosaic-like pattern and a rhythmic scheme of primary colors that maintain the freshness of a rapid sketch while vividly capturing the setting where Matisse and Derain worked. Melissa Kerr, from Masterpieces from the Philadelphia Museum of Art: Impressionism and Modern Art (2007), p. 138.

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