• Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Christies

    Sale 5851

    Impressionist & Modern Art

    25 November 2009, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 8

    Kees van Dongen (1877-1968)

    La toilette de l'enfant

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Kees van Dongen (1877-1968)
    La toilette de l'enfant
    signed 'Van Dongen' (lower right)
    gouache, black ink and charcoal on card
    22¼ x 18½in. (56.6 x 47cm.)


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    Contact the department

    This work will be included in the forthcoming Kees van Dongen catalogue critique being prepared by Mr. Jacques Chalom Des Cordes under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Institute.

    La toilette de l'enfant offers an insight into Van Dongen's skills as a pre-fauvist master, especially demonstrated through his spontaneous handling of ink. Fired by his avant-garde tastes in art and his interest in politics, Van Dongen evokes a sense of profound pathos with this image of a woman in straitened circumstances, bathing her child in the dim light of a garret apartment. The tension of his social critique finds an unprecedented expression in such intimate drawings, where delicately shaded forms are contrasted with confident, defining strokes of black ink. Van Dongen's early production is dominated by expressionistic portrayals of difficult existences, inspired by the art of Millet, Pissarro and Van Gogh. The lives of prostitutes held a particular fascination for the artist and he frequently documented their plight for satirical journals like L'Assiette au beurre and La Revue Blanche at the turn of the 20th century, which established his reputation and definitively launched his career.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Acquired by the family of the present owner in the 1980s


    Saleroom Notice

    This lot is not subject to VAT at 5 on the hammer price, VAT is only payable on the buyer's premium.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE SWISS COLLECTION