Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Kees van Dongen

Sotheby’s 2016

 France Kees van Dongen Lilas et tulipes (circa1925) Estimate: £400,000-600,000 

Vibrantly coloured and executed on an impressive scale, Lilas et tulipes exemplifies both Van Dongen’sremarkable mastery of colour and his innovative approach to the still-life form. Juxtaposing the slender stems of the lilac blossoms with the sensuous heads of the tulips, Van Dongen imbues the composition with a remarkable dynamism and his expressive use of thickly applied colour reflects the enduring influence of an association with the Fauves.
Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art in New York November 7 & 8, 2007

The evening sale featured fifteen works from an important European collection highlighted by a spectacular offering of works by Kees van Dongen. The artist’s Femme à la Cigarette, was painted circa 1905-08 (est. $4/6 million) and is a steamy portrait of a bare-shouldered woman which dates from the height of van Dongen’s involvement with the Fauves. 

Also by van Dongen is Femme au grand chapeau which was painted circa1912 ($3.5/4.5 million, £1.7/2.2 million). The young woman depicted in this canvas is a prime example of the type of portraits demanded by van Dongen’s elite clientele, who clamored to sit for the artist in the years leading up to World War I. By the Roaring Twenties, these elegant portraits became some of the most coveted status symbols among the grand dames of Paris. 

Strauss & Co's  1 June 2015

Amongst the highlights is an arresting portrait by renowned Dutch artist, Kees Van Dongen, of his beloved daughter Dolly. Strauss & Co have estimated this museum quality work to fetch R3 500 000 – R4 500 000.  
Van Dongen was a contemporary of Picasso, Matisse, and others who exhibited at the Salon d'Automne and were hailed as Les Fauves or the "wild beasts" for their use of bright colours and expressive painterly brushmarks.

Painted in Paris in 1909, Dolly au collier d’argent, (Dolly with silver necklace) confirms Van Dongen's stature as one of the leading avant-garde artists of the 20th century. At the heart of the composition is the quiet intensity of the child’s bright blue eyes set against her fine complexion so lovingly rendered by her adoring father, while sparkling jewels at her neck and wrist draw attention to the focal points of face and hands. Van Dongen painted many portraits of the beau monde in Paris, earning a reputation as chronicler of the period. In their diversity, his portraits managed to give a characteristic, in some cases deliberately stereotyped, depiction of his contemporaries that lent them also a documentary value. With a playful cynicism he remarked of his popularity as a portraitist with high society women, "the essential thing is to elongate the women and especially to make them slim. After that it just remains to enlarge their jewels. They are ravished." This remark is reminiscent of another of his sayings: "Painting is the most beautiful of lies". 

Christies, 2015

Anita en almée by Kees van Dongen (1877-1968), painted in 1908, is a highly charged, sensuous celebration of the Parisian demi-monde in the first decade of the 20th century, with echoes of French Orientalist painting (estimate: £4-7 million). The artist’s subjects in the years before the First World War confront, provoke, titillate and lure the viewer into their space. No other modern painter in Paris at the time made his pictures as heatedly and blatantly sexual as Van Dongen, who executed his sensational subjects in a riot of violent colours. A self-taught artist, Van Dongen independently arrived at Fauvism in 1905. He stirred up a volatile mixture of strident colour and vigorously rendered painterly forms and unlike other painters of the Fauve circle, he unabashedly indulged his taste for the demi-monde of Montmartre.

Sotheby's 2014

Kees van Dongen
LOT SOLD. 1,037,000 USD

Kees van Dongen
LOT SOLD. 545,000 USD

Kees van Dongen
LOT SOLD. 233,000 USD

Kees van Dongen
Estimate 700,0001,000,000 USD

Kees van Dongen
LOT SOLD. 593,000 USD 

Kees van Dongen
LOT SOLD. 116,500 GBP

Kees van Dongen
LOT SOLD.  461,000 USD

Kees van Dongen
Estimate 300,000400,000 USD

Sotheby's 2013

Kees van Dongen

LOT SOLD. 233,000 USD

Kees van Dongen
Estimate 300,000400,000 USD

Kees van Dongen
LOT SOLD. 905,000 USD

Sotheby's 2012


Kees van Dongen
LOT SOLD. 3,681,250 GBP

Sotheby's 2009
KEES VAN DONGEN | 1877 – 1968.
Sold for $13,802,500 USD

Sotheby's 2007

Kees van Dongen
LOT SOLD. 768,000 USD 

Bonhams 2010 

Kees van Dongen (Dutch, 1877-1968)
Dolly au collier d'argent
£300,000 - 400,000 - US$ 440,000 - 590,000

 Christie's 2001



 Christie's 2004

Christie's 2005

Christie's 2006


Christie's 2007

Christie's 2009

Christie's 2010

Christie's 2012

Christie's 2014

Kees van Dongen (1877-1968)
Stella in a Flowered Hat, c.1907
Oil on canvas, 65 x 54 cm
Purchased, 1981


Born in Holland, van Dongen was a member of the Fauve movement that flourished in Paris from 1905 to about 1909, and included Matisse and Vlaminck. The Fauves used vivid colours to express feelings and emotions, and the effect was shocking for their contemporaries.

Van Dongen, inspired by the example of Toulouse-Lautrec, painted the nightlife of Montmartre and other similar areas of Paris, and Stella is probably a 'demi-mondaine'. She is portrayed in the violent, dissonant colours that are the hallmark of the powerful fauve portraits of women executed by the artist between 1905 and 1910. He uses the hot, unrealistic pinks and purples to express the woman's personality and convey her seductive charm. These are balanced by the cool greens used to shade the neck and arm. Forms are flattened and simplified, and yet van Dongen seeks to create volume, and van Dongen seeks to create volume, and to raise Stella in relief from the picture surface, by adding a bold outline (along the right side) reinforced by the heavy yellow hatchings which follows the contour of her head and shoulders.

National Gallery of Canada

Souvenir of the Russian Opera Season, 1909
Kees Van Dongen
Dutch, French, 1877 - 1968
oil on canvas
54.2 x 65 cm
Purchased 1966
National Gallery of Canada (no. 14984)
© Estate of Kees Van Dongen / SODRAC (2013)

OLD - Kees (Cornelis) van Dongen was born in the village of Delfshaven near Rotterdam, where his father owned two small factories that dried grain and spices from Indonesia. He lived in Paris from 1897 and became a French citizen in 1929. "Souvenir of the Russian Opera Season" portrays a scene from "Cléopâtre", performed to critical acclaim by Sergei Diaghilev's Ballet Russes in Paris in June 1909. The reclining figure is Ida Rubenstein in the title role, while the dancer with outstretched arms is the celebrated Anna Pavlova, who holds one of the coloured veils unwrapped from Cleopatra's body just prior to her seduction of a Prince.

National Gallery of Art (Washington, DC)

Dongen, Kees van
French, born The Netherlands, 1877 - 1968
c. 1913 (?)
oil on canvas
overall: 65.1 x 54.3 cm (25 5/8 x 21 3/8 in.)
framed: 86.7 x 75.6 x 4.8 cm (34 1/8 x 29 3/4 x 1 7/8 in.)
Collection of Mr. and Mrs. John Hay Whitney