Kees van Dongen
chanson d’la marchande des quat’saisons ! » Elle reprend l’image de la fille de prostituée, une fois sa beauté fanée, délaissée par les clients qui lui permettaient de subsister dans sa jeunesse. Grâce à quelques rares traits et touches de couleur, Kees dan Dongen livre un exemple poignant du style incisif de ses premières années parisiennes, fortement influencées par la tradition séculaire de la caricature française, ainsi que des modernes tels qu’Edvard Munch ou Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Cornelis Theodorus Marie “Kees” van Dongen was born in Rotterdam in 1877. After studying at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in his native city from 1892 to 1894, he went to Paris in 1897. He frequented the avant-garde and was considerably inspired by the art of Toulouse-Lautrec and van Gogh, from whom he gained his chromatic expressiveness. In order to sustain himself, Kees van Dongen created and sold numerous illustrations and drawings for newspapers, in which he depicted contemporary society and the different layers it comprised. From 1904, van Dongen more resolutely turned to painting. This was also the first year he exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants, an event where he met Maurice de Vlaminck and Henri Matisse with whom he then participated in the controversial Salon d’automne of 1905, which marked the official start of Fauvism. In the years that followed, the movement and its vibrance developed rapidly. In 1906, van Dongen and his companion stayed in the Bateau Lavoir, where Picasso, Juan Gris, Modigliani, Brancusi, and others lived and worked. Starting in the 1910s, however, van Dongen’s work was marked by a return to drawn shapes, to lines, and a slight chromatic lull. The colorful and expressionist enthusiasm of the fauvist period was followed by the creation of large, stylized nudes and portraits of women, who played a significant role in his work overall. Van Dongen’s career is as colorful and appealing to the eye as his painting, entirely in line with his period’s principles. Before becoming a recognized and sought-after painter in high society Paris, Kees van Dongen made many drawings and illustrations which he submitted to art magazines such as to Revue blanche, or satirical publications, as with The Butter Dish. The former is a magazine to which artists such as ToulouseLautrec, Bonnard and Vuillard, as well as writers including Proust, Gide and Apollinaire, collectively contributed. It published the great manifestoes of the period, including those of the Nabis, Fauvism, Futurism, and the Arts premiers (tribal arts). The latter publication, more political than the first, received contributions by Kupka, Gris, and Vallotton. Thanks to these many illustrations, it’s a precious record of the Belle Époque golden era. Thanks to Félix Fénéon’s intervention, Van Dongen was entrusted, in 1901, with the production of an entire issue of the latter, entitled «Short Story for Small and Big Children» which dealt with prostitution. In fifteen images, each with a short caption, the opus briefly tells the story of a prostitute’s daughter who takes on the same profession, but age becomes a peril to her occupation as her beauty fades. The work we are proposing is the preparatory study of the fourteenth illustration, entitled ‘Winter Having Come, it is over - the Merchant’s Song of Four Seasons!’ It picks up on the image of the prostitute’s daughter, who, once her beauty has faded, finds herself abandoned by the clients who had maintained her in her youth. This provides a poignant example of Kees van Dongen’s incisive style in his early Parisian years, strongly influenced by the secular tradition of French caricature as well as by modern artists such as Edvard Munch and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
L’assiette de beurre n° 30 du 26 octobre 1901
Cornelis Theodorus Marie – dit Kees – van Dongen est né en 1877 à Rotterdam. Après avoir étudié de 1892 à 1894 à l’Académie royale des Beaux-Arts de sa ville natale, il rejoint Paris en 1897. Côtoyant l