Lot 43
  • 43

Kees van Dongen

700,000 - 900,000 USD
732,500 USD
bidding is closed


  • Kees van Dongen
  • Portrait d'Alicia Alanova
  • Signed van Dongen (lower right); inscribed Deauville and dated 1920 (on the stretcher); signed van Dongen and inscribed Jeune fille, 29 Villa Said, Paris, XVI (on the reverse)
  • Oil on canvas


Galerie Samy Chalom, Paris (until at least 1967)

Acquired circa 1985


Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, 1996, n.n, illustrated in color in the catalogue 


Louis Chaumeil, Van Dongen, L’homme et l’artiste – La vie et l'oeuvre, Geneva, 1967, no. 71, illustrated p. 208

Jean Melas Kyriazi, Van Dongen, Après le Fauvisme, Lausanne, 1987, illustrated p. 77 (dated 1933)

IFAR Journal, vol. 10, no. 3/4, 2008/09, listed p. 57 & illustrated in color on the inside front and back covers

Catalogue Note

Painted in 1920, Portrait de Alicia Alanova is an outstanding example of Van Dongen’s fashionable portraits and epitomizes all that was chic and desirable during the 1920s. The present work likely depicts the glamorous Russian-American ballet dancer and actress Alanova (1902-1965). Known as the principle portraitist among the Fauve artists, Van Dongen executed portraits inspired by his visits to the cabarets and cafés where dancers performed in exotic costumes, as well as those of members of the high society. It was in this milieu that Van Dongen would have encountered the ballet dancer Alanova who was famous at this time for her contribution to modern ballet and her appearances in foreign films.

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'" (D. Sutton in Cornelius Theodorus Marie Van Dongen (exhibition catalogue), Tucson, 1971, p. 46).