Lot 235
  • 235

KEES VAN DONGEN | L'Horloge de la plage de Deauville

700,000 - 900,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Kees van Dongen
  • L'Horloge de la plage de Deauville
  • Signed van Dongen. (lower center); inscribed l'Horloge (on the reverse)
  • Oil on canvas
  • 19 7/8 by 25 7/8 in.
  • 50.5 by 65.7 cm
  • Painted circa 1955.


Sale: Galerie Charpentier, Paris, June 14, 1957, lot 63
Paul Pétridès, Paris
Galerie Samy Chalom, Paris (possibly)
Strong Foundation, New York (and sold: Sotheby's, New York, November 8, 1994, lot 38)
Private Collection, New York (acquired at the above sale and sold: Sotheby's, New York, May 8, 2002, lot 52)
Richard Green Fine Paintings, London (acquired at the above sale)
Private Collection, Europe (acquired from the above)
Private Collection, Europe (and sold: Sotheby's, New York, May 6, 2010, lot 323)
Acquired at the above sale


Monaco, Nouveau musée national, Kees van Dongen, 2008-09, no. 225, illustrated in color in the catalogue

Catalogue Note

"In van Dongen's work we find everything that lives, sparkles and is luxurious," remarked a journalist in 1928 (quoted in All Eyes on van Dongen (exhibition catalogue), Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, 2010-11, p. 155). This statement is not only applicable to scenes of Paris. The fashionable summer resort of Deauville on the Normandy coast, the subject of the present work, attracted many leading artists from the mid-nineteenth through the early-twentieth centuries. Van Dongen's affinity for brilliant color and his swift eye for movement were well suited to the vitality of Deauville's aristocratic vacationers, as they congregated on the beach by the bathing tents or at the nearby racetrack.

In L'Horloge de la plage de Deauville, van Dongen deftly captures the exciting and fashionable summer social scene at Deauville: a place to see and be seen. Van Dongen was at the center of this lively world. The artist first visited Deauville in the summer of 1913, when he stayed with his collector friends the Desjardins. Seduced by the buzz and glamour of the place, he returned almost every year of his life.

In L'Horloge de la plage de Deauville, ominous gray clouds pour in overhead, while bright flags wave triumphantly in the accelerating wind, seeming to signify the beachgoers' resistance to the threatening weather ahead. Van Dongen was apparently just as resolute in his mission to capture this scene. Painting himself in the lower right corner as an inconspicuous figure, he appears preoccupied with representing the activity of the beach as storms loom after the joy of a warm summer afternoon.

This work will be included in the forthcoming van Dongen Digital Catalogue Raisonné, currently being prepared under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Plattner Institute, Inc.