André Derain was a painter, sculptor, and printmaker, and an important figure in the Fauvism movement. He took his first painting lessons during his teenage years from La Noé. From 1898 to 1900, Derain shared a studio with two other young Fauvists, Henri Matisse and Maurice de Vlaminck, while at the same time taking classes at Paris's Académie Carrière. In 1904, Derain attended the Académie Julian and traveled with Matisse to Collioure, a small town in the French Mediterranean, where both did artists did a lot of painting.
Derain was partially responsible for the Fauvists' name, since art critic Louis Vauxcelles, disapproving of Matisse and Derain''s unnaturally bright colors, described the paintings they exhibited at the Paris Salon d'Automne as "les Fauves," or "the wild beasts." In 1906, at the request of art dealer Ambroise Vollard, Derain traveled to London, where he painted a series of 30 brightly-colored paintings of the city, including one of his best-known works, Charing Cross Bridge (1901). The following year, Derain moved to Montmartre so that he could be close to his artist friends, including Pablo Picasso, and began to sculpt stone. He began his gothic period in 1911, using austere forms and more muted colors than he had done so previously. Some of these paintings were displayed at the Armory Show in New York and at Berlin''s Erster Herbstsalon. After fighting in World War I, Derain began to paint more traditional works and came to be seen as a leader in Classicism. Throughout the 1920s, he created his well-known paintings of performers and dancers, including Harlequin and Pierrot (1924).
After he won the Carnegie Prize in 1920, Derain’s work began to be exhibited widely around the world. The Kunsthalle in Berne, Switzerland, held Derain''s first serious retrospective in 1935; around the same time, the artist moved to Chambourcy, France. By the time the Germans occupied France during World War II, Derain was living in Paris. He was part of a group of French artists who visited Nazi sculptor Arno Breker''s exhibition in Berlin, so after the Liberation he was widely viewed as a collaborator. During the 1940s, Derain worked in Donnemarie and Chambourcy. In the years before his death, he concentrated on sculpting. His paintings can now be seen at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.