Derain was a French artist born in 1880. Originally studying for a career in engineering, a chance encounter with Matisse at a local art class, led him ultimately to a career in art.
Derain and Matisse worked together through the summer of 1905 culminating in an exhibition of works which led critics to describe the artists as 'wild beats' because of their bold and innovative use of colours. The name 'Fauvism' came to be used to describe their style.
Derain's art came into greater prominence when he was commissioned to create a set of paintings with London as the subject. These paintings remain among his most popular works.
Later works expermented with Cubism and finally his last period, saw him develop a neo-classic style infusing into his works the the styles of the Old Masters.
Following wartime service he began painting again but an eye infection left him visually impaired and his life ended prematurely in 1954 when he was involved on a fatal collision with a car.