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ALL THINGS BEAUTIFUL: PROPERTY FROM AN AMERICAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Kees van Dongen
LA FEMME AU CHAPEAU
Estimate
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Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
2,000,0003,000,000
LOT SOLD. 1,990,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
44

ALL THINGS BEAUTIFUL: PROPERTY FROM AN AMERICAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Kees van Dongen
LA FEMME AU CHAPEAU
Estimate
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
2,000,0003,000,000
LOT SOLD. 1,990,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

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New York

Kees van Dongen
1877 - 1968
LA FEMME AU CHAPEAU
Signed van Dongen (lower right)
Oil on canvas
39 3/8 by 32 in.
100 by 81.2 cm
Painted circa 1911. 
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

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.

Provenance

Dr. Roudinesco, Paris (acquired circa 1949)

Galerie Charpentier, Paris (acquired circa 1958)

Private Collection, Paris (acquired from the above by 1962)

Leonard Hutton Galleries, New York (acquired by 1965)

Nelson A. Rockefeller, New York (acquired from the above in 1966)

The Museum of Modern Art, New York (gifted from the above in 1980 and sold: Christie’s, New York, November 1, 2005, lot 53) 

Deitch Projects, New York (acquired at the above sale)

Acquired from the above in 2005

Exhibited

Bordeaux, Musée de Bordeaux, Exposition van Dongen, 1943-44, no. 11, illustrated in the catalogue (titled Femme au chapeau noir & dated 1901)

Paris, Galerie Charpentier, van Dongen, 1949, no. 46, illustrated in the catalogue 

Rotterdam, Museum Boymans, Kees van Dongen: Werken van 1894 tot 1949, 1949, no. 25, illustrated in the catalogue  

Utrecht, Genootschap Kunstliefde, Kees van Dongen, 1949, no. 10, illustrated in the catalogue 

(possibly) Munich, Haus der Kunst, Galerie Charpentier, zeigt Ecole de Paris. Grösse Kunstausstellung München 1956, 1956, no. 91

Paris, Galerie Charpentier, Les Fauves, 1962, no. 128, illustrated in the catalogue

Paris, Musée National d'Art Moderne, L'art hollandais depuis Van Gogh, 1958, no. 35, illustrated in the catalogue 

New York, Leonard Hutton Galleries, A Comprehensive Exhibition of Paintings, 1900 to 1925 by van Dongen, 1965, no. 13, illustrated in color in the catalogue (titled La Femme au grand chapeau noir)

New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Twentieth-century art from the Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller Collection, 1969, illustrated in the catalogue

Literature

"L'exposition Van Dongen" in France-Illustration, le Monde illustré, Paris, April 9, 1949, illustrated p. 352

Jean-Paul Crespelle, Les Fauves, Neuchatel, 1962, illustrated in color p. 71

Robert Vrinat, "L'Exposition salle par salle" in Les Nouvelles littéraires, Paris, March 8, 1962, p. 3

Louis Chaumeil, Van Dongen: L’Homme et l’artiste–La Vie et l’oeuvre, Geneva, 1967, no. 75, illustrated n.p. (titled Le Chapeau Cloche)

Catalogue Note

After taking part in the momentous Salon d’automne in 1905 alongside radical artists such as Matisse, Derain, de Vlaminck and more, Kees van Dongen’s work took on a more unsparing, broad-stroked aspect. These artists would embody Louis Vauxcelles’ iconic comparison of the set as fauves: wild beasts whose boldness contrasted sharply with the neoclassical busts in the room and affronted their generation's sense of artistic civility. Though van Dongen’s work as presented during this exhibition was fairly demure compared to his peers, influential portraits such as Henri Matisse’s La Femme au chapeau would help the young artist graduate from his roots in realism to a definitively and defiantly Fauvist outlook (see fig. 1). Van Dongen’s La Femme au chapeau, though painted three years after this groundbreaking exhibition, is emblematic of fauvist ideals—indeed, Vauxelles would comment this same year that he was “‘the most terrifying’ of the Fauves—for his sense of texture, his handling of the ‘paint skin,’ rough or soft and velvety, expressing the sultriness of their [the models’] bodies” (Louis Vauxcelles, quoted in All Eyes on Kees van Dongen (exhibition catalogue), Museum Bojmans, Rotterdam, 2011, p. 34).

In the years following the 1905 Salon d’automne, van Dongen became known as a pioneer of this emerging group, a notable distinction for an artistic movement that was markedly hazy in its own definition. As the art historian Robert Genaille once stated, “The Fauves have founded neither a school, nor even a homogeneous group…but an avant-garde pack of painters of diverse temperaments… what brings them together is the same daring taste for color” (quoted in L. Chaumel, op. cit., p. 88). His early portraits of women would certainly place him in the fauvist bracket; with his extravagant use of color and bold lines depicting the female form in its full provocative nature, the artist pointed to his subjects’ innate sensuality and amplified it tenfold (see fig. 2).

His circa 1911 execution of La Femme au chapeau marks the beginning of the era for which van Dongen would most be known—that of commissioned portraiture. The work elevates the artist from one who was most renowned for his patronage and depictions of Montmartre’s clubs in all their gritty glory to one widely sought-out by Paris’ upper-echelons. While the sitter in this particular portrait is unknown, she showcases the attributes of wealth: a sparkling beaded necklace, wide-brimmed feathered hat, and draped, demure attire, posh and fashionable for the time. Still feline in her empty, haunting gaze, she sits with grace and poise—characteristics that would shine through in van Dongen’s portraits of the Parisian bourgeoisie in the following decades. His use of color and flat two-dimensionality as seen here would also prove influential to his future works—a bright coral lip, chartreuse shadows defining the jawline and chaotic, broadly-brushed lines against a neutral background amplify the model’s intense presence.

Van Dongen’s La Femme au chapeau has inspired wide esteem and a slew of eminent admirers, including the late Nelson Rockefeller, who acquired the painting in 1966. The celebrated politician and philanthropist was well-known as an avid art and historical object collector, establishing cultural centers like the former Museum of Primitive Art and befriending several Modern artists, including Fernand Léger. In 1980, the present work was bequeathed to the renowned collection of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, where resided for more than two decades (see fig. 3). So beloved was this work that upon gifting this canvas to MoMA, Rockefeller commissioned a reproduction of the painting from Paul Kiehart which was later passed down through the Rockefeller family and remained until Happy's death (see fig. 4). 

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

|
New York