The Pool of London (1906) by Andre Derain

The Pool of London - Andre Derain - 1906

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Artwork Information

TitleThe Pool of London
ArtistAndre Derain
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions65.7 x 99.1 cm (26 x 39 in.)
Art MovementNeo-Impressionism
Current LocationTate Modern

About The Pool of London

The artwork titled “The Pool of London” is an oil on canvas painting by André Derain, created in the year 1906. This piece exemplifies Neo-Impressionism and falls within the genre of a marina scene. The painting measures 65.7 by 99.1 centimeters, or approximately 26 by 39 inches. Presently, the artwork is housed at Tate Modern, an institution renowned for its extensive collection of modern and contemporary art.

In “The Pool of London,” Derain presents a vibrant and dynamic composition that captures the bustling activity of the River Thames near Tower Bridge. The artist uses bold colors and expressive brushstrokes to convey the energy of the industrial and commercial heart of London at the time. There is a prominent use of strong, primary colors—vivid blues, greens, bold oranges, and striking reds—which contribute to the sense of liveliness and modernity.

Boats and ships are depicted in geometric shapes, with flat areas of color delineating their forms. These angular, interlocking forms give a sense of rhythm and movement to the scene. Figures of people are abstracted to simple shapes, suggesting their presence without detailed representation. The water sparkles with reflections, rendered in fragmented brushwork that captures the light and motion of the river. In the background, the suggestion of a city landscape and the famously depicted bridge demonstrates Derain’s interest in contemporary urban life.

Derain’s innovative use of color and his modern, fragmented depiction of this historic London locale marked a noteworthy departure from the more traditional approach to landscape and marine painting. “The Pool of London” is an exemplary work of its period, embodying the avant-garde spirit of early 20th century art and contributing to the evolution of painting during this transformative era.

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