Cubism: A History and An Analysis, 1907-1944

By John Golding | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV
THE INFLUENCE OF CUBISM IN FRANCE 1910-14

In Les Peintres Cubistes, Apollinaire wrote of the rise of Cubism: 'cette esthétique nouvelle s'élabora d'abord dans l'esprit d'André Derain.'1 Although Derain never became a Cubist, Apollinaire's statement is not as unreasonable as it might at first seem, for Derain has some place, albeit a very hard one to define, in the history of the movement. In 1906 he was certainly regarded as one of the three or four most significant young painters working in Paris, and because of his fundamental eclecticism he reflects better than almost any other painter the various influences that were at work at this time. In the first place, Derain turned seriously to CéZanne for inspiration just before Picasso and Braque. In this he was not, of course, a pioneer; at the advanced Salons of 1903 and 1904, the influence of CéZanne was everywhere.2 However, in an isolated early example, a Still Life of 1904 (in the collection of Mme. C. Baron, Garches), Derain had seized on many of the aspects of CéZanne which were to influence the Cubists. In it he adopted CéZanne's high, informative viewpoint; forms are boldly simplified, and there is an interest in reconciling three-dimensional form with the flat picture surface. But characteristically, although Derain has emphasized some of the most important aspects of CéZanne's work, he reduces them to a rather obvious kind of formula. He avoids any intensive analysis of form, and his work lacks the concentration and structural precision of the paintings executed by Picasso and Braque when they in turn came under the influence of CéZanne. (Pl. 76a.)

Then, largely through his admiration for Gauguin (and this influence can be seen even in the CéZannesque still-life discussed above) in 1906 Derain began to explore the aesthetic possibilities of 'primitive' art just before Picasso did. Again

____________________
1
p. 22. Ozenfant and Jeanneret in Après le Cubisme, Paris 1918, make almost exactly the same point as Apollinaire.
2
See p. 22 above.

-138-

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Cubism: A History and An Analysis, 1907-1944
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • Acknowledgements 6
  • Abbreviation 6
  • Illustrations 7
  • Introduction 15
  • Chapter I - The History and Chronology of Cubism 19
  • Chapter II - Picasso and Braque 1907-12 47
  • Chapter III - Picasso, Braque and Gris 1912-14 96
  • Chapter IV - The Influence of Cubism in France 1910-14 138
  • Conclusion 181
  • Bibliography 188
  • Index 201
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