221
221

PROPERTY FROM AN INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE COLLECTION

Kees van Dongen
LE NU ESTHÉTIQUE
Estimate
600,000800,000
LOT SOLD. 672,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
221

PROPERTY FROM AN INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE COLLECTION

Kees van Dongen
LE NU ESTHÉTIQUE
Estimate
600,000800,000
LOT SOLD. 672,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

|
New York

Kees van Dongen
1877 - 1968
LE NU ESTHÉTIQUE
Signed van Dongen (lower center); titled (on the stretcher); inscribed Téabéeleau (on the reverse)
Oil on canvas
39 1/4 by 32 1/8 in.
99.6 by 81.5 cm
Painted in 1909.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

To be included in the forthcoming Van Dongen Catalogue raisonné being prepared by Jacques-Chalom des Cordes under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Institute.

Provenance

Bernheim-Jeune, Paris (acquired from the artist in October 1911)
Galerie de l'Élysée (Alex Maguy), Paris
Acquired from the above in the 1950s and thence by descent

Exhibited

Paris, Galerie de l'Élysée (Alex Maguy), Sept grands maîtres, 1969
Tucson, University of Arizona Museum of Art; San Francisco, Palace of the Legion of Honor & Kansas City, William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art, Atkins Museum of Fine Arts, Kees van Dongen, First American Retrospective, 1971
Venice, XXXVI Esposizione Biennale Internazionale d'Arte, 1972, no. 814 (dated 1907)
St. Moritz, Salon privé du palace, Exposition Alex Maguy, 1975

Catalogue Note

Sultry vixens and sensuous nudes, such as the one featured in Le Nu esthétique, are the hallmark of van Dongen's early career. This painting belongs to a group of works that the artist completed at the end of his involvement with the Fauves, when he was solidifying his reputation as the painter of the young beauties of the Parisian demi-monde. In 1909, when this work was executed, van Dongen was living in the Bateau-Lavoir, near Picasso's studio and amidst the hot-bed of avant-garde creativity. The smoky cafés and concert halls of the neighborhood were filled with young caberet performers and prostitutes who were willing to model, and, like so many young artists of his day, van Dongen was transfixed by their sublime and lurid beauty. His involvement with these women resulted in some of the most alluring canvases of his oeuvre and ultimately attracted a new audience for his art. Ironically, those most impressed with van Dongen's achievements were the grandes dames of Parisian society, who began commissioning portraits from him in the 1910s. 

Le Nu esthétique dates from the final chapter of van Dongen's Fauvist career and bears evidence of the "wild" influence of the movement. Discussing van Dongen's involvement with the Fauves and the place of his portraits within the Fauvist cannon, Gaston Diehl has observered: "Although he was in harmony with his fellows on the need to simplify and exalt chromaticism, as his remarkable Self portrait of 1906 attests, he sharply detached himself from them at the same time, by maintaining a direct, indeed brutal, realism.  In his portraits, his nudes...he held fast to a meticulous craftsmanship, so meticulous it could almost be called naïve. The vitality of his need for immediate pleasures took even more concrete form through his development, during these years of 1906 to 1909, of two major themes. One, with which he was already quite familiar, is girls of the streets. He treats them without complacency, but—a point on which there is unanimous agreement—he knew how to make a troubling femininity radiate... Enveloped by a powerful corona, the bodies of Anita the Bohemian or of Nini, the habituée of the Folies Bergère, which offer themselves shamelessly, exalt the most sensual luxuries" (Gaston Diehl, Van Dongen, Milan, n.d., pp. 41 & 49).

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

|
New York