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.
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower right): Derain/ 1906
[Ambroise Vollard, Paris, by July 1906 or summer 1907; commissioned from the artist for Fr 150]; Alphonse Kann, Saint Germain en Laye, France; Monsieur D..., Paris (until 1925; his sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, April 3, 1925, no. 22, as "Regent street [London]," for Fr 5,100 to Édouard); M. Édouard, France (from 1925); Mme Ferdinand Kahn (in 1937); private collection, Paris (by 1947–at least 1950); [Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, until 1953; sold on October 20, 1953, for $16,000, to Gelman]; Jacques and Natasha Gelman, Mexico City and New York (1953–his d. 1986); Natasha Gelman, Mexico City and New York (1986–d. 1998; her bequest to MMA)
Paris. Petit Palais. "Les Maîtres de l'art indépendant, 1895–1937," June–October 1937, salle 6, no. 9 (as "Une Rue de Londres," lent by Mme Ferdinand Kahn).
New York. Sidney Janis Gallery. "Ten Years of Janis: 10th Anniversary Exhibition," September 29–November 1, 1958, no. 20 (as "A London Street," lent by Mr. and Mrs. Jacques Gelman).
New York. Leonard Hutton Galleries. "Der Blaue Reiter," February 19–March 30, 1963, no. 61 (as "A London Street," lent by Mr. and Mrs. Jacques Gelman, Mexico).
Museum of Modern Art, New York. "The 'Wild Beasts': Fauvism and Its Affinities," March 26–June 1, 1976, unnumbered cat. (p. 45; as "Regent Street," lent by Mr. and Mrs. Jacques Gelman, Mexico City).
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. "The 'Wild Beasts': Fauvism and Its Affinities," June 29–August 15, 1976, unnumbered cat.
Fort Worth. Kimbell Art Museum. "The 'Wild Beasts': Fauvism and Its Affinities," September 11–October 31, 1976, unnumbered cat.
London. Lefevre Gallery. "Les Fauves," November 16–December 21, 1978, no. 5 (as "Regent Street," lent by Mr. and Mrs. Jacques Gelman, Mexico City).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Twentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection," December 12, 1989–April 1, 1990, unnumbered cat. (p. 82; as "Regent Street, London").
London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Twentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection," April 19–July 15, 1990, unnumbered cat.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "The Fauve Landscape," October 4–December 30, 1990, unnumbered cat. (pl. 299).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Fauve Landscape," February 19–May 5, 1991, extended to May 19, 1991, unnumbered cat.
London. Royal Academy of Arts. "The Fauve Landscape," June 10–September 1, 1991, unnumbered cat.
Martigny. Fondation Pierre Gianadda. "De Matisse à Picasso: Collection Jacques et Natasha Gelman," June 18–November 1, 1994, unnumbered cat. (p. 105).
Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. "André Derain: Le peintre du 'trouble moderne'," November 18, 1994–March 19, 1995, no. 53.
London. The Courtauld Institute of Art Gallery. "André Derain: The London Paintings," October 27, 2005–January 22, 2006, no. 13 (as "Regent Street").
"Quelques prix des œuvres de Derain." Les Chroniques du jour 11 (January 1931), p. 17, lists its sale price of Fr 5,100 [in the 1925 Monsieur D... sale].
Maurice Raynal. Peintres du XXe siècle. Geneva, 1947, colorpl. 18, as "Rue de Londres" in a private collection, Paris.
Maurice Raynal et al. History of Modern Painting. Vol. 2, Matisse, Munch, Rouault: Fauvism, Expressionism. Geneva, 1950, ill. p. 39 (color), as "A London Street," private collection, Paris.
Georges Hilaire. Derain. Geneva, 1959, pp. 71, 191, pl. 36, as "Rue de Londres".
Denys Sutton. André Derain. London, 1959, p. 18.
John Elderfield. The "Wild Beasts": Fauvism and Its Affinities. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 1976, p. 81, ill. p. 45 (color).
Gaston Diehl. Derain. New York, 1977, p. 36, states that Derain intended this picture for the Salon d'Automne of 1906.
Keith Roberts. "Current and Forthcoming Exhibitions: Edinburgh and London." Burlington Magazine 121 (January 1979), p. 52, fig. 63.
Malcolm Gee. Dealers, Critics, and Collectors of Modern Painting: Aspects of the Parisian Art Market Between 1910 and 1930. PhD diss., Courtauld Institute of Art. New York, 1981, p. 94; appendix G, pp. 95, 124, no. 248, identifies the buyer of this picture in the 1925 Hôtel Drouot sale as Paul Eluard.
Pierre Schneider inTwentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. Ed. William S. Lieberman. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, pp. 26–27.
Sabine Rewald inTwentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. Ed. William S. Lieberman. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, pp. 81–83, 298, ill. (color and bw), notes that Vollard commissioned Derain's London paintings after being inspired by the 1904 Durand-Ruel exhibition of Monet's London views; observes that Derain "romanticized London" by not depicting the motorcars then dominating the streets.
William S. Lieberman inTwentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. Ed. William S. Lieberman. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, fig. 3 (color, installation photo).
Pierre Cabanne. André Derain. Paris, 1990, ill. p. 37 (color), as "Vue de Regent street," 1905–6; erroneously locates it in the Lefebvre Gallery, London.
Judi Freeman. The Fauve Landscape. Exh. cat., Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Los Angeles, 1990, pp. 187, 212 n. 17, p. 278, colorpl. 299, dates it winter 1906; states that this is the only picture of Regent Street among the thirty known paintings of London by Derain.
Michel Kellermann. André Derain: Catalogue Raisonné de l'œuvre peint. Vol. 1, 1895–1914. Paris, 1992, p. 60, no. 92, ill. pp. 50, 60 (color and bw), as "Londres: Regent Street".
James D. Herbert. Fauve Painting: The Making of Cultural Politics. New Haven, 1992, pp. 23, 33–34, 40, 44, fig. 8 (color), calls it "Regent Street"; assumes that Derain set up his easel on the curbside to paint this scene; asserts that the "full spectrum of street life" is not represented in this picture because it contains no sign of London's underclass.
Niamh O'Laoghaire. "The Influence of Van Gogh on Matisse, Derain and Vlaminck, 1898–1908." PhD diss., University of Toronto, 1992, p. 296.
Sarah Whitfield. "Book Reviews. Fauve painting: The Making of Cultural Politics." Burlington Magazine 135 (April 1993), p. 280, calls it "Regent Street"; suggests that Derain sketched this view from the open-air seat of an omnibus, and likely completed the London paintings back in Paris.
Jacqueline Munck inAndré Derain: Le peintre du "trouble moderne". Exh. cat., Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Paris, 1994, pp. 141–42, 471, no. 53, ill. (color).
Jean-Louis Ferrier. The Fauves: The Reign of Color. Paris, 1995, p. 67.
William S. Lieberman. "Donation Gelman: l'École de Paris au Metropolitan." Connaissance des arts no. 554 (October 1998), p. 105, fig. 2 (color).
Rémi Labrusse and Jacqueline Munck. "André Derain in London (1906–07): Letters and a Sketchbook." Burlington Magazine. Exh. cat.Vol. 146, April 2004, pp. 246, 252, 259, fig. 48 (color), call it "Regent Street" and date it about 1907; reproduce a pencil study for this painting and list another related sketch of a horse-drawn carriage and coachman, both in Derain's first London sketchbook (March 6–17, 1906; private collection); note that in the painting Derain isolated the figures of a man and woman in the right foreground from the vibrancy of the composition, creating "a somewhat unsettling impact".
Rémi Labrusse and Jacqueline Munck. Matisse-Derain: La Vérité du fauvisme. Paris, 2005, pp. 84, 98, 261, colorpl. 66, call it "Regent Street" and date it 1906–7; state that there are twenty-nine known paintings in Derain's London series; note that in his second London sketchbook, Derain lists twenty paintings, including "3 Regent Street," although only this picture of the street is known.
Rémi Labrusse and Jacqueline Munck inAndré Derain: The London Paintings. Exh. cat., The Courtauld Institute of Art Gallery. London, 2005, pp. 20, 27 n. 7, p. 28 n. 13, comment that although Derain listed twenty paintings in his first London sketchbook [the authors locate this list in the second London sketchbook in "Matisse-Derain: La vérité du fauvisme," 2005], it is uncertain whether these pictures had already been executed since some cannot be identified today; note that in July 1906, Derain received payment from Vollard for twelve London paintings, but had not yet delivered the canvases, suggesting that many of the paintings were executed in France from sketchbooks.
John House inAndré Derain: The London Paintings. Exh. cat., The Courtauld Institute of Art Gallery. London, 2005, pp. 37, 40.
Ernst Vegelin van Claerbergen and Barnaby Wright inAndré Derain: The London Paintings. Exh. cat., The Courtauld Institute of Art Gallery. London, 2005, pp. 96–97, 142, no. 13, ill. (color), date it 1906–7; note that Derain wrote to Matisse on January 30, 1907 on stationery from the Café Monico which had a branch on Regent Street, suggesting that the preparatory sketch for this painting may have been executed during Derain's last London trip.