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)

La garçonne

Kees van Dongen (1877-1968)
La garçonne
signed 'Dongen.' (lower right)
oil on canvas
25 5/8 x 19 7/8 in. (65.2 x 50.5 cm.)
Siri Aschberg, Château du Bois du Rocher, Jouy-en-Josas.
Confiscated from the above following the occupation of France, 1940-1941.
Galerie Paul Pétridès, Paris.
Private collection, France, by 1971.
Pierre Wicart, Neuilly-sur-Seine.
Acquired from the above by the present owner on 19 January 1994.
Restituted to the heir of Siri Aschberg in May 2014.
Revue de l'Art, Paris, 1971, fig. 5 (illustrated).
Monaco, Nouveau muse´e national, Kees van Dongen, June - September 2008, no. 185, p. 335 (illustrated p. 272); this exhibition later travelled to Montreal, Musée des Beaux-Arts, January - April 2009 and Rotterdam, Museum Boymas-Van Beuningen, May - August 2009.

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.

Brought to you by

Antoine Lebouteiller
Antoine Lebouteiller

Lot Essay

The present work is being offered for sale pursuant to a settlement agreement between the consignor and the heir of Siri Aschberg. This resolves any dispute over ownership of the work and title will pass to the buyer.

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

La garçonne encapsulates the combination of Fauvism and the decadent glamour of the demimonde which so suffused Kees van Dongen's pictures of that time. By 1906, Van Dongen had become the perfect chronicler of the life of cabarets, dancers and prostitutes of Paris, capturing the sights of the night with bold colours that convey his own relentless joie de vivre. Where his contemporaries also associated with Fauvism spent much of their time painting by the banks of the River Seine under the bold sunlight so favoured by Vincent van Gogh, Van Dongen struck his own path. As is clear from La garçonne, it is the up-lighting of electrical lamps - even those used on the stage - that lends this painting its intense palette and contrasts.

La garçonne dates from the period when Van Dongen consolidated his Fauve visual language. He had been moving towards an increasingly intense use of pure colour in his paintings for some time, all the more so after the retrospectives of Georges Seurat's and in particular Vincent van Gogh's pictures during the 1905 Salon d'Automne. From that point onwards, he appears to have dedicated himself to an increasingly unhindered palette, as is evident in the orangey-reds that dominate La garçonne, with a pale pool of dramatically-lit skin at the centre. These two areas of bold colour are thrown all the more into relief by their contrast with the dark cloths that the subject wears.

Van Dongen, who had earlier captured the life of the Parisian streets in works on paper that often echoed those of Théophile Steinlen, was now a fully-fledged Fauve, a member of the artistic avant garde. Indeed, at the beginning of 1906, he moved into the legendary Bateau Lavoir, the haunt of many of the great artists of the beginning of the Twentieth Century in Montmartre. André Salmon would recall his visits to Pablo Picasso's studio there:

'When a stranger stopped for the first time in front of Number 13, he was tempted to "talk to the concierge," a bearded man getting a breath of fresh air at the only window giving onto the courtyard. Obligingly, the bearded man would indicate the short path to follow in order to wait at Picasso’s threshold. But now, the visitor would be able to see, on the wall, audacious canvases of which none seemed to be the work of a concierge. In fact, it was none other than Kees van Dongen’ (A. Salmon, quoted in S. Warnod, Le bateau lavoir, Paris, 1986, p. 17).

More from Impressionist/Modern Evening Sale

View All
View All