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Artists Kees van Dongen

Kees van Dongen

Dutch-French Painter

Kees van Dongen Photo
Movements and Styles: Fauvism, Expressionism

Born: January 26, 1877 - Delfshaven, Netherlands

Died: May 28, 1968 - Monte Carlo, Monaco

"Painting is the most beautiful of lies."

Kees van Dongen Signature

Synopsis

Nicknamed "the painter of brothels" van Dongen was especially enthralled with the red light district, depicting its dancers, singers, and prostitutes. He later graduated to painting society ladies, who liked the way he elongated their forms and made them look both elegant and slightly dangerous. Despite unfavorable critical comparisons to Matisse (who loathed him), and the apparent absence of any moral compass (van Dongen traveled with a Nazi propaganda tour in 1941), he left a remarkable record of fashions and social attitudes in Paris over the first half of the twentieth century, leading Maurice Vlaminck, fellow Fauve, to name him the ultimate "historian of all the cynical libertinage... of prostitutes, of hysterical worldlings, of unsatisfied strangers, disoriented exotics."

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