A rare portet, Madame Matisse au kimono by Andre Derain will be the highlight at Christie’s Evening Sale of Impressionist & Modern Art on May 8 in New York. Derain’s portrait of Matisse’s wife from 1905 was painted during the first of two summers he spent with Henri Matisse in Collioure, a French Mediterranean fishing village near Spain where they painted side by side. That was the famous summer prior to the now celebrated Salon d’Automne exhibition, when the public was outraged by these artists’ seemingly violent palettes — when colors, as Derain later said, became “like sticks of dynamite.”
The piece was acquired from a private European collection where it has remained for the past 40 years, and now is on offer with an estimated price of $15 – 20 million!
Magnificent portrait depicts Amelie Matisse sitting down in the elegant, patterned Japanese kimono which she often wore and in which she was painted by her husband, as well as several of his other fauve colleagues. The green and red colors in the background emphasize the subject’s presence and are similar to the colors that Matisse uses in La Raie Verte also portraying Amelie in September of 1905. La Raie Verte can be found in the Copenhagen Staatens Museum for Kunst.
Brooke Lampley, Head of Department, Impressionist & Modern Art comments, “Derain is known for his vivid landscapes, but very few fully-realized portraits by Derain are known to exist. This lush and richly detailed homage to Madame Matisse stands as a symbol of the unique camaraderie and intellectual collaboration between Matisse and Derain, the two giants of the Fauve movement. To have a large-scale portrait of this exceptional caliber and with such a celebrated muse as its subject makes this an unparalleled collecting opportunity for fine art connoisseurs worldwide.”
Madame Matisse au kimonois the most important portrait by the artist ever to appear at auction and represents a pivotal moment of artistic collaboration between Andre Derain and Henri Matisse.