André Derain (1880 – 1954)

Portrait of Bartolomeo Savona

London, 1906

Oil on canvas

45.7 x 35.4 cm

Savona was a Sicilian student who was staying in the guest house Derain used during his visit to London in 1906. 

According to family legend, Savona acted as the artist’s translator when he needed to visit a dentist.  He then painted this portrait in three twenty-minute sittings as a gift. Derain uses raw and clashing colours and exuberant brushwork to create a lively and sympathetic image.  Similar works had led him, and his associate Henri Matisse, to be dubbed Fauves (Wild Beasts) when they exhibited in Paris in the previous year.

Purchased 1997 with financial assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund and The Art Fund (No. 97.1)

See this painting in the Blue Gallery

derain 500

Image © The Barber Institute of Fine Arts / ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2016

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