Van Dongen 'rid his palette of all constraint and gave free rein to that creative joy in light and color. The basic principle of Van Dongen's art can be summed up in his freedom of imagination; when he painted, the colours flowed from his brush like many-hued ribbons guided completely by his natural resources' (W. E. Steadman & Denys Sutton, Cornelis Theodorus Marie van Dongen (exhibition catalogue), The University of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson, 1971, p. 10).
Stéphanie Darnétal was the wife of Roger Bernheim, son of esteemed gallerist and art expert Georges Bernheim, whose gallery in Paris was destroyed during the Second World War. Both Roger and his wife shared George's passion for art, and Stéphanie continued collecting long after her husband's death.
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