Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dongen, Kees van

Femme au chapeau fleuri (Woman with Flowered Hat)
oil on canvas
92 x 60 cm (36.22 x 23.62 in.)
private collection

"Painting is the most beautiful of lies. .... 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."  (van Dongen)

Cornelis Theodorus Maria van Dongen (1877 - 1968), usually known as Kees van Dongen, was a Dutch painter and one of the Fauves. Early in his artistic endeavors, he was inspired by the Impressionists and influenced by their style. Then, he developed the lush colors of his Fauvist style. This earned him a solid reputation with the French bourgeoisie and a profitable lifestyle.

He gained a reputation for his sensuous, at times garish, portraits. His expressive portraits, likenesses, and landscapes received much appreciation and achieved success through his unique coloring. In 1926, he was awarded the Legion of Honour and in 1927 the Order of the Crown of Belgium. He died on May 28, 1968, in Monte Carlo.