Monday 16 November 2020

Woman at the Banister, Kees Van Dongen (France, 1976)

Kees van Dongen was a Dutch-French artist who was part of the Fauvist movement in French art in the early 20th century. Born to a middle-class Dutch family in 1877, he studied in Rotterdam before moving to Paris. He became particularly well-known after World War 1 with his very lush, brightly coloured paintings of society women. Even with his modern and quite challenging style, he always made his subjects look particularly slim and bejewelled, aware that this would make his paintings more saleable. Fauvism was characterised by bright colours and strong brushwork, showing off its “painterly” aspects rather than just aiming for faithful representation of its subjects. Henri Matisse and Andre Derain are seen as the most famous members of the Fauvist gang.

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