Kees VAN DONGEN (1877-1968)
Au café concert, c. 1905
School of painting: Modern
Medium: Ink, watercolour and pencil on paper
Signed lower right Van Dongen
50 x 35 cm
19 11/16 x 13 ¾ inches
Galerie Charpentier, Paris, Van Dongen, 1942
Kees van Dongen, Dutch native, started his studies at the Rotterdam Fine Arts Academy. During this period he frequented red-light district and drew scenes of live among the prostitutes. He moved to Paris in 1897 and participated with Maurice de Vlaminck and Henri Matisse at the Salon des Indépendants of 1904. As a pioneer of Fauvism he exhibited the next year at the Salon d’Automne and was also a member of the Ecole de Paris.
He started his career as a draughtsman and was famous in his use of China ink highlighted with watercolour. Van Dongen realised portraits of international and Parisian figures as well as nudes which were judged obscene and outrageous.
At the beginning of the twentieth century Paris was very lively with its music halls and Cafés frequented by numerous artists. A great many foreign artists moved to Paris, seduced by the modernity and the richness of the city. Girls of Montmartre where one of their favourite subjects and Van Dongen was also fascinated by them, as seen in this drawing of a French Can-Can.
He was considered as the painter of the “Tout Paris” and there are still many unpublished drawings.