Vollard, always eager to exploit the avant-gardes, then makes a surprising judgment error, believing that Derain would be able to provide a counterbalance to the huge popular success of the exhibition of the views of London by Monet at Durand-Ruel in 1904. In 1906 and 1907 Derain spends several months in London in three stays interspersed with returns to Paris.
The 26 year-old artist is alone to execute this new mission, without the emulation from Matisse. He had been excited by the exhibition at Durand-Ruel and must find a style opposite to Monet. To transpose onto London the success of the colors of Collioure, he deliberately ignores the fog.
His cloisonné figuration is now closer to Gauguin. He is gradually abandoning pointillism, rightly : the experience of Signac and Van Rysselberghe demonstrated that this difficult technique did only reach its best effects for extreme lights.
The thirty views of London painted by Derain are good examples of the expression of exacerbated colors and are part of this continuous progress of artistic movements that leads to Blaue Reiter and abstraction. They do not stand out anyway from contemporary experiences of other Fauvistes including Dufy, Marquet and Braque but also Vlaminck, Manguin, Camoin and Chabaud. Vollard recovered the paintings of London from Derain but did not display them.
Derain's stay in London had another influence on modern art. Inspired by the ethnographic collections of the British Museum, he understands that tribal art will allow the paintings to part away from the photographic realism, thus unintentionally opening the way to Picasso's Demoiselles d'Avignon.
Londres: le Quai Victoria, oil on canvas 66 x 99 cm, was sold for £ 7M including premium by Sotheby's on June 24, 2015. In the same color range, Londres: la Tamise au pont de Westminster, 66 x 75 cm, is estimated £ 6M for sale by Christie's in London on February 27, lot 30.