Lot 74
  • 74

Kees van Dongen

500,000 - 700,000 USD
545,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Kees van Dongen
  • Suzanne
  • Signed Van Dongen (upper right); signed Van Dongen, titled and inscribed 5, rue Juliette Lamber Paris XVII (on the reverse)
  • Oil on canvas
  • 21 7/8 by 15 1/4 in
  • 55.5 by 38.5 cm


Ansley Graham Gallery, Los Angeles (acquired by 1972 and sold: Sotheby's, London, March 28, 1973, lot 52) 

Paul Kantor Gallery, Los Angeles (acquired at the above sale)

B. G. Cantor, Beverly Hills

Private Collection, United States

Private Collection (by descent from the above and sold: Sotheby's, London, February 4, 2010, lot 259)

Richard Green Gallery, London (acquired at the above sale)

Acquired from the above

Catalogue Note

Van Dongen's fashionable images of society doyennes synthesize all that was chic and desirable during the 1920s.  To have a portrait painted by van Dongen was a coveted status symbol for the most fashionable women of the era, and this image of the beautiful Suzanne exemplifes what all the fuss was about.  Here the sitter is depicted at her glamorous best bejewelled, bare-shouldered and sporting a sophisticated 'page boy' hair cut and signifying all that was in vogue for the Modern Woman.  

Known as the principal portraitist among the Fauve artists, Van Dongen executed paintings inspired by his visits to the cabarets and cafés where dancers performed in exotic costumes. In 1917, the artist began a relationship with Léa Jacob, also known as Jasmy, who helped launch his career in Parisian fashion circles.  In 1922 the couple moved to a new residence at 5 rue Juliette Lamber, the address referred to on the reverse of the present work.  Here Van Dongen held exhibitions and Jasmy hosted extravagant parties attended by influential members of society.  Writing about this period of Van Dongen's career, Denys Sutton commented:  "During the 1920s, Van Dongen became one of the most talked of figures in the French art world and it is only necessary to run through the volume of press cuttings belonging to [his daughter] to be aware of the fact that his name was news.  He was a frequent visitor to Deauville, where the smart world gathered, and to the cabarets and restaurants of Paris.  What appealed to him about the années folles were their movement and gaiety.  He once said: 'I passionately love the life of my time so animated, so feverish! Ah!  Life is even more beautiful than painting'" (Denys Sutton in Cornelius Theodorus Marie Van Dongen (exhibition catalogue), Tucson, 1971, p. 46).