Paysage (le Morin)


Andre Derain (1880-1954) etching and drypoint Paysage (le Morin), 1911, signed and numbered 50/50 (although edition size is not known).  Reference: Adhemar 49. In good condition apart from some defects in the wide margins (a few nicks, and repaired tears at edges, not near image), with full margins with deckle edges, 11 1/2 x 14 1/4 (the sheet 17 1/2 x 24 1/2) inches, archival matting, on cream laid Arches paper (with the Arches watermark).

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.

This important print, showing evidence of both the Fauve and Cubist styles, was entitled Paysage dan la gout Italien, and given a date of 1913 in the Jean Adhemar catalogue of 1955, which has come to be regarded as the Derain catalogue raisonne for his prints.  But Jane Lee has argued (Print Quarterly, March 1990) that the print was more probably created in 1910-11, at the same time that Derain made several paintings relating closely to the print, especially the painting Le Morin, in which the landscape motif is the same as the central area of the print.

Paysage, Le Morin is a brilliant tour de force of printmaking.  Much burr (from the drypoint work) is in evidence; the composition and dimensionality carry connotations of ”Cezannisme”, and Derain’s Fauvist drawing is central. The print is based on a specific place in the French countryside (Serbonne dans le Grand Morin), yet one can understand how Adhemar could refer to this as a landscape in the Italian style; indeed, it has an classic Italianate look to it.