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PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED EUROPEAN COLLECTION

Kees van Dongen
MODJESCO SOPRANO SINGER
JUMP TO LOT
51

PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED EUROPEAN COLLECTION

Kees van Dongen
MODJESCO SOPRANO SINGER
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Œuvres sur Papier

|
Paris

Kees van Dongen
1877 - 1968
MODJESCO SOPRANO SINGER
signed van Dongen and titled Modjesco Soprano Singer (towards centre right)
oil on paper laid down on canvas
25 7/8 x 13 1/8 in.
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This work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné being prepared by Jacques Chalom des Cordes under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Institute.

Provenance

Private Collection, France (acquired in the 1950s)
By descent to the present owner

Catalogue Note

Kees Van Dongen often frequented the cabarets of Montmartre as well as the brothels in order to paint the singers and prostitutes. In 1906, he moved to the Bateau-lavoir where he met with Picasso and gave masked balls in his studio for his friends Derain, Vlaminck, Camoin and Matisse.

It was on the Butte of Montmartre that Van Dongen saw the performance of the transvestite Romanian singer Modjesko, famous at the time, of whom he painted moreover a superb portrait in 1908, kept today in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

With its gouache highlights, this work employs the explosive colors of Fauvism, a movement with which Van Dongen was directly associated since the famous exhibition at the Salon d’Automne in 1905. But it also testifies to the painter’s implication in the German Expressionist movement Die Brüke which he was invited to join in 1908. This surprising work reveals not only the shady night life of Paris, of which Van Dongen was a fervent observer, but illustrates as well the new stylistic and formalistic experiments of this great period of the Parisian avant-garde.

Œuvres sur Papier

|
Paris