Viewing Room

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La jetée à l’Estaque

Oil on canvas
33 x 55 cm (13 x 21 ⁵/₈ inches)

Rosenthal collection, Paris
Private collection, Paris by descent from the above
Private collection, France

- Paris, Pinacothèque, Les Collections, january 2011-november 2012.
- Madrid, Fundacion Mapfre, Los Fauves, October 20th 2016-January 29th 2017.
- Paris, Musée National d’Art Moderne, centre Georges Pompidou, André Derain, 1904-1914, la décennie radicale, October 4th 2017-January 29th 2018, p. 107, repr. p. 112
- London, Stoppenbach & Delestre, André Derain 1880-1954 From Fauvism to Classicism, January 24-February 21, 2020, cat. 3

Certificate of authenticity by Comité André Derain dated October 30th 2006

La Jetée à l’Estaque is a version of Jetée à l’Estaque (1906) exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants in 1907 and bought by the famous art dealer Henry Kahnweiler (Michel Kellerman, A. Derain, catalogue raisonné, volume I, 1895-1914, Galerie Schmit, 1992, n° 115). Jetée à l’Estaque had a very important historical value. Kahnweiler, who wished to emulate the renowned art dealers Durand-Ruel and Vollard, first discovered Derain’s work through Jetée à l’Estaque. This eventually led to Kahnweiler buying the majority of Derain’s work from this period, finally signing an exclusive contract with him.

The work was painted in 1906, in one of two visits to l’Estaque that year, either in August or November. Views of l’Estaque, a little port near Collioure are rare in his oeuvre, having painted the location only ten times.

After his experiences with Matisse in Collioure in 1905 and his two months in London in early 1906, Derain began to purify his view of nature. The chromatism is simplified and reduced to red, blue and yellow primary values. The space and the image are very clear, using minimal means.

August 2, 1906, Derain writes to Matisse: “ with more dedication towards matters more refined, less primitive than those of last year, but all that I do seems superficial. In as much as I seek to undertake stable, permanent and exact (…).”
In 1906 he confessed to Vlaminck “I have the feeling that I am now orienting myself towards something better where picturesque mattered less that (it did) last year, and I am looking only at the question of painting (…) If we are not looking for a decorative usage, we may just trend to purify, more and more, this transposition of nature.”

This moment represents a pivotal change in Derain’s career, hesitating between a more abstract aesthetic, concentration on emotional values and more representational works, wich he feared would appear predetermined.

This anxiety proved to be fruitful, producting a series of landscape of extraordinary colour and structural harmony, where Derain revels in shape and colour, rendered with dazzling effects.

La Jetée à l’Estaque is structured by the converging lines of the pier, moving back towards the horizon line in dynamic vibrant red. To the left, dashes and loose arabesques of blue sea surround the masses of suggested boats, illustrating spontaneity and innovation in the animation of the surface.
The yellow curving lines combined with the raw section on the left, and punctuated with small light turquoise patches of colours, foster the intensity and the liberation of saturated colors.