• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7600

    Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale

    25 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 493

    Kees van Dongen (1877-1968)

    La baie d'Antibes

    Price Realised  

    Kees van Dongen (1877-1968)
    La baie d'Antibes
    signed 'van Dongen' (lower centre)
    oil on canvas
    32¼ x 39½ in. (82 x 100.3 cm.)


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    The end of World War I brought many changes to Van Dongen's life. Separated from his wife and daughter, who spent the war years in Rotterdam, he began a ten-year affair with Léo Jacob, known as Léo Jasmy or Jasmy La Dogaresse, who possessed the 'beauté et l'élégance d'un grand mannequin' (L. Chaumeil, Van Dongen, Geneva, 1967, p. 168). They moved into spacious quarters at 29, rue de la Villa Saïd in 1917, where he painted, displayed his work and lavishly entertained. Jasmy's ambition and social connections gained Van Dongen's entry into the most fashionable salons of the post-war period, known as les années folles.

    'During the 1920s, Van Dongen became one of the most talked of figures in the French art world and it is only necessary to run through the volume of press cuttings belonging to Dolly Van Dongen [the artist's daughter] to be aware of the fact that his name was news...What appealed to him about the années folles were their movement and gaiety. He once said: 'I passionately love the life of my time, so animated, so feverish. Ah! Life is even more beautiful than painting'' (D. Sutton, exh. cat. Cornelis Theodorus Maris Van Dongen (1877-1968), Arizona, 1971, p. 46).

    Intoxicated by the heady, liberated atmosphere of the times, he reveled in the new types that emerged on the scene at the most fashionable Parisian salons and beach resorts, where he became an habitué. The foreground of La baie d'Antibes, most likely painted in the winter of 1921, is dominated by one of these new types, the long, sinuous figure of a glamorously dressed, emancipated woman. He makes striking use of single blocks of vivid green and pink to describe the background of this flamboyant, monumental painting. In 1922, Van Dongen acquired in Jasmy's name the even more opulent residence of 5, rue Juliette-Lamber, where the present painting is seen hanging in Van Dongen's ground floor studio, which he also used as a Salle d'Exposition.

    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

    Galerie Brame & Lorenceau, Paris
    Acquired from the above by the present owner circa 1982.


    Saleroom Notice

    Jacques Chalom des Cordes will include this painting in his forthcoming van Dongen catalogue raisonné being prepared under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Institute.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTOR