Baigneuse Nue aux Arbres (Nude Bather amidst Trees)

derainnueAndre Derain (1880-1954), Baigneuse Nue aux Arbres (Nude Bather amidst Trees), etching and drypoint, c. 1909, signed in pencil and numbered 27/100. Reference: Adhemar 50. In very good condition, on ARCHES cream laid paper, with their watermark, with full margins, 7 x 3 3/4, the sheet 22 1/4 x 17 1/2 inches, archivally matted.

A fine impression, with a subtle layering of plate tone.

Derain clearly based the face in this print on the famous African Fang mask which he owned (and which influenced others who saw it in his apartment such as Picasso, e.g., in his Demoiselles d’Avignon). It is also related to a sculpture he owned, a late medieval Virgin and Child. In fact, as is argued by Jane Lee in her landmark article on Derain’s Prints (Print Quarterly, March, 1990), Derain was surely affected by late 16th Century Italian woodcuts in casting the “pose of the model, the curves of the trailing drapery repeating those oof her arm and hand.”

The landscape – the rolling hills – is probably based on the area of France between Collioure and Ceret, which was later to become known, according to Apollinaire’s phrase, as the “Mecca of Cubism.” Derain used a similar landscape in his print Paysage (Le Morin) and also in several paintings made at this time.

Andre Derain was born in Chatou, near Paris in 1880.  He worked with Henri Matisse in 1905 at Collioure, and participated in the 1905 Salon d’Automne with Matisse, Vlaminck, and Braque, the exhibition in which this group was labeled as Fauves, or Wild Beasts. Derain moved to the Montmartre section of Paris in 1907 where he met Picasso. He had his first one-person exhibition in Paris in 1916, and received many honors and exhibitions until his death in 1954.