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)