Almost entirely devoted to portraiture and depicting the human form, from his first association with the Fauves Van Dongen developed a unique manner of painting figures. Extremely broad and fluid brush work and rich coloration served to highlight the most expressive features of his subjects, and as Kyriazi has noted, red was by far his most favored color. However, Van Dongen was not alone amongst the Fauves to use red so extensively. Matisse also recognized the expressive and lyrical potential of using red, most notably in the entirely red figures in both his large-scale compositions of 1910 - Musique and Danse (II). Van Dongen's use of red was far more wide-ranging, and intrinsic to his own interpretation of Fauvism’s formal qualities, as John Klein explains: "In his portraits and female nudes from this long Fauve period, Van Dongen uses the colour red liberally and voluptuously, as a signifier of ardour, sex, and blood. Flooding the faces and bodies of Egyptians or Moroccans, it also signifies the exotic…. When Matisse disingenuously placed all the weight of Fauvism on a single colour, it would not be surprising if he were making a covert reference to Van Dongen's reddish predilections. But by his extravagant deployment of red, Van Dongen was not vitiating its attention-getting effect - he was doing for Fauvism what Matisse and the others, too restless, and too devoted to the necessity of self-expression in their work, would not. He was [making] Fauve style accessible... with an appeal beyond the narrow confines of the avant-garde" (J. Klein in Van Dongen (exhibition catalogue), The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts & Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, Monte Carlo, 2008, p. 223).
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale