Regent Street, London

Artist: André Derain (French, Chatou 1880–1954 Garches)

Date: 1906

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 26 × 39 1/8 in. (66 × 99.4 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection, 1998

Accession Number: 1999.363.18

Rights and Reproduction: © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


Commissioned by the art dealer Ambroise Vollard to emulate a series of earlier works by Monet, Derain made three trips to London in early March 1906, late March–mid-April 1906, and late January–early February 1907. Many of the London paintings may have been executed from sketchbooks after Derain's return to Paris. Among the artist's twenty-nine known scenes, the most striking are those of the Thames, in which he gave free rein to color, inventing red boats and painting the water green and yellow and the sky orange. In this view of Regent Street near Oxford Circle, his palette is more restrained, consisting primarily of subdued blues and strategically placed scarlets. Contemporary photographs of Regent Street show that Derain did not exaggerate. The street and sidewalks were jammed, the population of the city having reached nearly 400,000 at that time.