Cornelis Theodorus Marie van Dongen

Although Kees van Dongen is not known to the general public as one of the great Dutch painters, he does play an important role in the art movement that developed at the beginning of the 20th century. He was a prominent representative of fauvism, and moved in the same circles as well known Grandmasters like Matisse and Picasso from the start of his career. After living in Rotterdam for the first few decades of his life, Kees van Dongen moved to Paris at the end of the 19th century and eventually converted to French citizenship instead of Dutch.

Van Dongen moves to Paris

Van Dongen was born in 1877 in to a poor family. And although he was forced to start working at the age of 14 he was able to go to evening school at the Academy of Visual Arts and Technical Science in Rotterdam from 1892 until 1897. After enjoying the artistic environment of Montmartre for a few months in 1897, he decided to move to Paris permanently two years after. Because being an artist did not provide him with enough income to support him self, he also worked as a house painter and as a cartoonist for satirical magazines and newspapers.

Van Dongen’s fauvism

The fauvism where Van Dongen was part of is characterized by strident colors that are not or hardly blended together and the use of bold color contrast. The movement was at its pinnacle from 1898 until 1908, during which Van Dongen created most of his work, painting women and female nudes. Not long before the First World War Van Dongen started using a more subdued range of colors, eventually moving totally towards painting portraits of high class Parisian women from 1918. In the mean time more and more people were impressed with his talent, which resulted in exhibitions in Amsterdam, Bordeaux, Brussels, London, Paris and New York to name but a few.

Our gallery’s collection of Van Dongen

We are able to offer Van Dongen’s work for sale on a regular basis. To obtain one of his works or one of the other Fauvists, you can enquire directly through our website. Van Dongen’s work is exemplary to fauvism, which has played a major role in the development of today’s modern art.