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FESTIVE AMSTERDAM: KEES VAN DONGEN AND THE ROYAL WEDDING CELEBRATIONS ON 5-9 MARCH 1901 (LOTS 83-89)
After having taken evening classes at the Akademie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam from 1892 to 1896 van Dongen moved to Paris in 1897. He was, however, back in Rotterdam in 1898 to provide illustrations for the Rotterdam Nieuwsblad, a local newspaper which was the first in the Netherlands to illustrate its reports. Van Dongen set off again for Paris in 1899 but was once again back in Holland at the beginning of 1901. There he was commissioned by the magazine Elsevier's Geïllustreerd Maandschrift to make twelve to fifteen drawings of the festivities held in Amsterdam from 5 to 9 March 1901 in honour of the marriage of Queen Wilhelmina of Holland (1880-1962) and Henry, Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1876-1934), which had taken place in The Hague on 7 February of that year.
Van Dongen was supposed to be paid eight guilders for this, and he stayed in Amsterdam for about a week. The drawings were handed over in time but it would appear from a report on the legal action which followed as a result of non-payment that the publisher had rejected the drawings and that they were therefore never published. Later that same year van Dongen provided illustrations for the French magazine La Revue Blanche and was asked to illustrate an entire issue of the famous L'Assiette au Beurre. These two collaborations marked a real breakthrough in the artist's career.
The eight following lots are the only known drawings made for the Elsevier commission. The drawings are all executed in pen and brush and black ink over a cursory design in pencil or blue chalk on light beige paper.