Kees van Dongen - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale London Thursday, March 9, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private Collection, Tokyo
    Gallery Nico Delaive, Amsterdam
    Acquired from the above by the present owner c. 2005

  • Literature

    This work will be included in the forthcoming Van Dongen Catalogue Raisonné being prepared by Jacques Chalom des Cordes under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Institute.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Celebrated for a style characterised by simple forms and expressive colours, Kees van Dongen led a prolific career amid an intense lifestyle in early-twentieth-century France. Born in Rotterdam in 1877, from humble origins, van Dongen settled in Paris in 1899 and quickly became known for his Fauve figure paintings and gained a reputation for his glamorous nightlife and leisure activities. Voiture à cheval, Cannes, painted during one of his regular visits to Cannes, beautifully captures the calm, harmonious spirit of the seaside resort.

    Voiture à cheval, Cannes portrays a casual scene of a horse carriage surrounded by palm trees on a seaside boulevard. Working with a monochromatic blue palette, the lack of detail brings attention to the rapid brushwork and freshness of style. Critics contemporary to the artist spoke of his passionate and dynamic way of painting, resulting in raw and emotive pieces. Mesmerised by his travels in the Mediterranean, van Dongen gradually replaced his Fauve palette from the early 1900s for a more refined and universally-appealing colour choice. One is truly able to feel the pure elegance and allure captured by the artist in the present scene.

    In 1923 the artist resided at the Hôtel Splendide in Cannes where he executed several paintings that contrasted his renowned portraits of Parisian haute society. These seaside images portrayed the exuberant enjoyment of life in Cannes through scenes of sailing activities, seascapes or leisurely strolls on the celebrated promenade de la Croisette. In Voiture à cheval, Cannes, the mastery of Kees van Dongen successfully transports the viewer to the luminous and tranquil time of early-twentieth-century Cannes.


Voiture à Cheval, Cannes

signed 'van Dongen' lower right; further inscribed 'Cannes' on the reverse
oil on canvas
33 x 55 cm (12 7/8 x 21 5/8 in.)

£120,000 - 180,000 

Contact Specialist
Tamila Kerimova
Specialist, Head of Day Sale
+ 44 20 7318 4065

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Auction 10 March 2017