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Les arbres (The Trees)

André Derain (French, 1880–1954). The Trees, ca. 1906. Oil on canvas, 23 3/8 x 28 1/2 inches (59.4 x 72.4 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., in memory of Helen Northrup Knox, 1971 (K1971:26). © Estate of André Derain / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

© Estate of André Derain / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

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© Estate of André Derain / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Estate of André Derain / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

André Derain

French, 1880-1954

Les arbres (The Trees), ca. 1906

oil on canvas

support: 23 3/8 x 28 1/2 inches (59.37 x 72.39 cm); framed: 35 x 39 3/4 x 5 1/4 inches (88.9 x 100.97 x 13.33 cm)

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr. in memory of Helen Northrup Knox, 1971

K1971:26

Currently On View

More Details

Inscriptions

signature / front, bottom right / Derain

Provenance

by 1940, collection Pierre Lévy, Troyes, France;
sold to the Sidney Janis Gallery, October 1950;
collection Mr. and Mrs. Norman F. Laskey;
sold to Sidney Janis Gallery, after February 1, 1969;
purchased from the Sidney Janis Gallery for the Albright-Knox with funds from the S. H. Knox Foundation, and other funds, April 8, 1971

Class

Paintings

Work Type

Oil painting

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

André Derain’s rapidly evolving style mirrored the creative vigor of the European avant-garde during the early twentieth century. This painting by a young Derain depicts a vibrant landscape of trees, mountains, and sky rendered in a bold palette of vivid color, such as crimson, coral, ultramarine, and violet. At the time, the artist was working with Henri Matisse and Maurice de Vlaminck as part of a group named the Fauves by critics after the French term for “wild beasts.” These artists characteristically defined forms with rapid comma-like strokes or dashes of lively color. They found inspiration in the sprightly and poetic style of Vincent van Gogh, who employed similarly rhythmic brushstrokes in his expressive paintings. Derain’s marks produce a decorative effect in The Trees, recalling the appearance of patterned textiles. The artist was interested in experimenting with not only pigment and technique but also composition; here, four tall and oddly proportioned trees in the foreground of the work extend beyond the picture plane, inserting the viewer directly into the scene. Though short-lived, lasting only from 1905 to 1908, Fauvism, including Derain’s contributions, set the course of twentieth-century painting toward abstraction and innovation.

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