barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham


André Derain (1880-1954)

La Chute de Phaëton (The Fall of Phaeton)

France, about 1905 

Brush, pen and black ink

64 x 35.8 cm 

 

Phaethon, son of Helios the sun-god, persuades his father to let him drive his sun-chariot, but wreaks such havoc that he is struck from the sky by Zeus (Ovid: Metamorphoses II, 150-327).

A popular theme in the history of art, the abstracted and destructive quality of this work illustrates the artist’s role as a leading exponent of Fauvism.

Derain sold the contents of his studio in 1905 to the dealer Ambroise Vollard, whose stamp is on the reverse.

Purchased in 2006 (No. 2006.2)

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