Kees van Dongen (1877-1968)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION
Kees van Dongen (1877-1968)

Le Moulin de la Galette

Kees van Dongen (1877-1968)
Le Moulin de la Galette
signed 'V. Dongen' (lower left)
oil on canvas
21 5/8 x 18 1/8 in (55 x 46 cm.)
J. Mélas-Kyriazi, Lausanne, until at least 1974.
Anonymous sale, Sotheby's, New York, 15 November 1984, lot 336.
Anonymous sale, Christie's, London, 6 February 2006, lot 70.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
J.M. Kyriazi, Van Dongen et le fauvisme, Lausanne & Paris, 1971, no. 26, p. 146 (illustrated p. 71; dated '1904').
Paris, Grandes Serres, Salon des Indépendants, March - April 1905, no. 4093 (titled 'La terrasse du Moulin de la Galette').
Paris, Galerie Charpentier, Van Dongen, 1949, no. 23 (dated '1900' and titled 'Bal parisien. Moulin de la Galette').
Lausanne, Galerie Paul Vallotton, Hommage à Van Dongen, Oeuvres de 1890 à 1948, September 1971, no. 10.
Tokyo, Seibu Museum of Art, Les Fauves, August - September 1974, no. 57 (illustrated; dated '1904'); this exhibition later travelled to Ishikawa Prefectural Art Museum, September - October 1974.
Balingen, Stadthalle, Das Ewig Weibliche - L'Eternel Féminin - From Renoir to Picasso, June - September 1996, no. 25 (illustrated; dated '1904').
Martigny, Fondation Pierre Gianadda, Kees van Dongen, January - June 2002, no. 13, p. 46 (illustrated p. 47; dated '1904' and titled 'Bal du Moulin de la Galette').
Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

Lot Essay

Jacques Chalom des Cordes will include this work in his forthcoming Van Dongen catalogue critique being prepared under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Institute.

Painted circa 1904, Le Moulin de la Galette dates from a pivotal moment in Kees van Dongen’s career, as the artist’s involvement in a series of important exhibitions, including the second Salon d’Automne and the artist’s first solo show at the Galerie Ambroise Vollard, firmly cemented his reputation as a leading member of the Parisian avant-garde. During the winter of that year, Van Dongen focused his attention on the exciting nightlife of Paris, concentrating on the carnival atmosphere of Montmartre and the Pigalle after dark. Still a relative newcomer to the city, he found himself dazzled by the explosive play of light, colour, music and movement in the numerous dance halls and nightclubs that filled the capital. The artist loved to immerse himself in the crowds that frequented these establishments, losing himself in the frenetic, pulsating atmosphere of the clubs, as fashionably dressed pleasure-seekers surrounded him, dancing and drinking the night away.

In the present work, Van Dongen captures the heady, intoxicating environment of the Moulin de la Galette, a famous Montmartre haunt of Henri Toulouse-Lautrec and the Impressionists during the final decades of the Nineteenth Century. Van Dongen records the tumult of the crowds as they dance under the glowing electric lights, their forms dissolving into an incredible panoply of colourful dots that overlap and weave together to create a scene that pulsates with energy. Elongating his brushstrokes into rectangular daubs of bright pigment, the artist adapts the precise techniques of the Pointillists to his own unique vision, imbuing the canvas with a sense of the intense verve with which he executed the painting. While Van Dongen’s close friendships with Paul Signac and Maximilien Luce exerted a clear influence on his style during this period, it is evident from such works as Le Moulin de la Galette that the artist was beginning to explore new avenues of creative expression, as he sought to develop his own unique style of painting.

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