André Derain

Landscape by the Sea: the Côte d'Azur near Agay

Derain painted this landscape after his momentous summer sojourn with Henri Matisse in Collioure, France. It was among those works that earned the artists the name Les Fauves (the “wild beasts”), for their bold use of brushwork and colour. The crude brushstrokes, applied directly onto a barely primed canvas, give a spontaneous impression of the hills and the rugged shoreline. The intense hues evoke the sense of a landscape bathed under the hot sun. With time, the colours have darkened slightly, but Derain certainly succeeded in translating the dazzling effects of light on the Southern landscape into an image of great luminosity and beauty.

Lined, no marks visible

– 1941/08
Henri Kapferer (1870–1958), Paris, France [1]

1941/08 –
Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR), Paris, seized from Henri Kapferer [2]

– 1952
Henri Kapferer, Paris, France [3]

– 1952/03/27
E. J. Van Wisselingh & Co., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, purchased from Henri Kapferer [4]

1952/03/27 –
The National Gallery of Canada, purchased from E. J. Van Wisselingh [5]

[1] Henri Kapferer was a French Jewish art collector who founded the company that later became Air France. He lived together with his brother Marcel with whom he occasionally co-owned paintings.

[2] Henri Kapferer's art collection, including Derain's The Côte d'Azur near Agay was seized by the ERR at the Chateau de Brissac in August 1941. The work was inventoried by the ERR as KAP (=Kapferer) 35, described as “Derain. Landscape with yellow, pink and blue slopes, green trees. Oil on canvas” with slightly different dimensions “52.2 x 63.5 cm“. It is noted on the ERR inventory card that the object “remained in Paris” [NARA Microfilm M 1943, roll 5 (Kapferer)]. The work was presumably returned to its former owner after the war. See note [4].

[3] See note [4].

[4] On March 21, 1952, Peter Eilers, director of E.J. Van Wisselingh & Co., wrote to NGC Director H.C. McCurry “The Derain (…) I bought directly from the collection Kapferer in Paris, a collector of world fame, now about 80 years old and selling occasionally a picture.”]. The Van Wisselingh stock book notes that the work was purchased from Kapferer in 1952 and sold to the National Gallery of Canada the same year [Van Wisselingh archive, stock number S 7245, Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Dokumentatie, The Hague, The Netherlands].

[5] Accession Log [NGC curatorial file].


Landscape by the Sea: the Côte d'Azur near Agay
oil on canvas
54.6 x 65 cm
Credit line
Purchased 1952
Accession number