Kees van Dongen (1877-1968)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN, SWITZERLAND
Kees van Dongen (1877-1968)


Kees van Dongen (1877-1968)
signed 'van Dongen.' (upper left)
oil on canvas
21 5/8 x 18 1/4 in. (55 x 46.2 cm.)
Painted circa 1920
Kunsthandel Frans Buffa & Zonen [Siedenburg], Amsterdam.
E. & A. Silberman Galleries, New York, by 1964.
Anonymous sale, Koller, Zurich, 14 May 1982, lot 5089.
Acquired at the above sale and thence by descent to the present owner.
La Galerie des Arts, Paris, no. 10, October 1963, p. 33 (illustrated).
Venice, Padiglione della Francia, XVII Esposizione Biennale Internazionale d'arte, 1930, no. 8.
Albi, Musée Toulouse-Lautrec, Exposition Van Dongen, Peintures, aquarelles, dessins, April 1960, no. 41 (illustrated pl. XVI).
Paris, Galerie Bellechasse, Van Dongen, Dessins, June – November 1963 (illustrated, n.p.).
Palm Beach, Society of the Four Arts, Portraits, A Record of Changing Tastes, February - March 1964, no. 39 (illustrated).
New York, Finch College Museum of Art, The Taste of One Art Dealer, an Exhibition of Paintings Loaned by Abris Silberman, March – April 1966, no. 6 (illustrated).
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. These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

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Michelle McMullan, Specialist, Head of Day Sale
Michelle McMullan, Specialist, Head of Day Sale

Lot Essay

This work will be included in the forthcoming Van Dongen Digital Catalogue Raisonné, currently being prepared under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Plattner Institute, Inc.

'I love anything that glitters, precious stones that sparkle, fabrics that shimmer, beautiful women who arouse carnal desire... painting lets me possess all this most fully' (Van Dongen, quoted in M. Giry, Fauvism, Fribourg, 1981, pp. 224-6).

Perhaps no artist captured the crazed and heady atmosphere of the années folles in the 1920s as perfectly as Kees van Dongen. Painted in 1920, Luisa encapsulates the character of this era in the Dutch-born artist’s oeuvre when he had made the society hotspots of France his home and indeed his inspiration. Defending himself before Vlaminck, van Dongen once said: 'I very much like being, as they say, a painter of elegance and fashion! But I am not, as many wish to believe, a victim of snobbism, of luxury, of the world. It amuses me, that’s all’ (Van Dongen, quoted in G. Diehl, Van Dongen, trans. S. Winston, New York, 1968, p. 8).

First through his friend and muse the Marchesa Casati, and subsequently his partner Léo Jasmy or 'Jasmy La Dogaresse', with whom he moved into a grand apartment at 29, rue de la Villa Saïd, in the elegant 8th arrondissement, Van Dongen was introduced to the glorious panoply of the world of the wealthy, the glamorous and the beautiful, and this is perfectly conveyed in his paintings. It was at the Villa Saïd where he painted, displayed his work and lavishly entertained. The Marchesa Casati, a legendary hostess famed for her extravagant parties, was a particular source of inspiration, and both her features, or look, and those of Jasmy often linger around the faces of his unnamed models, a tribute to their importance in his life.

'All women have their beauty, their charm that I exalt', Van Dongen said in 1921, capturing the essence of the era which he so perfectly expressed in his paintings. Dominated by aristocrats and newly wealthy entrepreneurs, the chic circles in Parisian society made Van Dongen their favorite portraitist, Chaumeil called him 'peintre et roi de son temps' (L. Chaumeil, Van Dongen, Geneva, 1967, p. 216).

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