Andre Derain's (1880-1954) vivid portrait of Henri Matisse's wife, Amelie Matisse, is expected to wow crowds when it appears at Christie's Evening Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art on May 8 in New York.
The work is hailed by the auction house as the most important Derain portrait ever to appear at auction, warranting an expected sale price of $15m to $20m.
The painting was created in the summer of 1905, when Derain and Matisse "embarked on a frenzy of painting that would change the course of modern art", according to Christie's.
Their use of shocking, bright palettes astounded crowds at the 1905 Salon d'Automne, leading critic Louis Vauxcelles to coin the term "les fauves" - the wild beasts - which would later be adopted to describe their movement.
"Derain is known for his vivid landscapes, but very few fully-realized portraits by Derain are known to exist," commented Christie's Brooke Lampley.
"This lush and richly detailed homage to Madame Matisse stands as a symbol of the unique camaraderie and intellectual collaboration between Matisse and Derain, the two giants of the Fauve movement."
Matisse was 11 years older than Derain and as such, was instrumental in the progression of Derain's career. It was Matisse and his wife that, disguised as a bourgeois couple of art collectors, visited Derain's house to convince his parents to accept their son's chosen profession as a painter.