"Of all the major figures in the Ecole de Paris, André Derain's reputation has sunk into the deepest trough. It is doubtful if it will ever again stand as high as it did between the two World Wars.
"Derain was born in 1880 at Chatou, which was then a kind of artists' colony at the gates of Paris. His father was a successful patissier (pastry chef) and a town councillor and Derain was given a middle-class education. He disliked school - much later, he said that 'the teachers, ushers and pupils were a far more bitter memory for me than the darkest hours of my military career.'
"In the autumn of that year Derain was called up for military service. He could do little work, but carried on a lively correspondence with Vlaminck until his release in September 1904. He returned to Chatou, and it was at about this time that he got to know the poet Guillaume Apollinaire. The following year, 1905, was an important one for him. The dealer Ambroise Vollard, to whom he had been introduced by Matisse, bought the entire contents of his studio (he did the same with Vlaminck). Derain exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants and sold four pictures, and then at the Salon d'Automne where he, Matisse, Vlaminck and others were hung together as a group, in a space which was promptly dubbed the 'Cage aux Fauves' ('Cage of Wild Beasts') by a facetious critic, and Fauvism was officially born.