He burst upon the art scene with the brilliance of a Roman candle. His
colors were unbridled, untamed, wild, so the critics said. They promptly dubbed
him—along with his associates Matisse, Vlaminck, Rouault, and Marquet,
among others—one of Les Fauves (the wild beasts).
He was André Derain (1880-1954), the 25-year-old son of tradespeople
from Chatou; he had abandoned an engineering career to enter the Académie
Carriére in Paris, and he was encouraged there by his friend Vlaminck.
Four years of military service did not quell his fires, and shortly after
he was released from the service, he took part in the now famous Salon d'Automne
in Paris in 1905. Fauvism also, however, had the life span of a Roman candle,
and gradually, Derain returned to his more conservative beginnings; by 1919,
he was painting such works as the relatively subdued Harlequin
Southgate MT. Harlequin. JAMA. 1999;282(15):1403. doi:10.1001/jama.282.15.1403