The exhibition in 1904 of the views of London by Monet is a great success for Durand-Ruel. Monet is no more a mere impressionist. He expresses the deep meaning of nature by extreme lights under heavy skies.
Monet remains a realistic painter but the post-impressionnisme already offers another path. Around Matisse, the Fauves blow up the colors. Art critics are surprised but the public appreciates this pictorial revolution that takes painting forever away from the influence of photography.
Vollard was always ready to support the avant-gardes, especially when they were represented by very young artists. Derain explores the new language of colors in 1905 with Matisse in Collioure. Vollard desires to compete with Durand-Ruel and commissions Derain for a series of views of London.
The view for sale stages a few sail boats against the light on a river, one of them in the foreground. It does not include any architectural detail but the shape of the sails meets the typical Thames barges. Their blazing red interspersed with blue responds with the usual Fauviste exaggeration to the reddish brown color of the models.
The pointilliste processing of water is reminiscent of the influence of the style of Signac that Derain had discussed with Matisse at the beginning of their cooperation in Collioure and anticipates the canals in Venice by Monet. The geometric segmentation of the sky between clouds, mist, sun and a patch of blue is a thoroughly modern vision.
SOLD for $ 6.9M including premium