KEES VAN DONGEN Trinidad Fernandez

Price Available Upon Request


Trinidad Fernandez
Signed van Dongen (lower left)
Oil on canvas
26 by 21 1/8 in.
66 by 53.8 cm
Painted in 1910.

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.

Robert Lebel, Paris (acquired by 1962)
Private Collection (by descent from the above circa 1986)
Private Collection, Paris (by descent from the above and sold: Sotheby's, London, February 8, 2012, lot 13)
Private Collection

Paris, Villa Steinheil, Salon russe, 1910, n.n.
Paris, Galerie Charpentier, Les Fauves, 1962, no. 125 (as dating from circa 1907)
Munich, Haus der Kunst, Französische Malerei der Gegenwart, 1963, no. 84, illustrated in the catalogue (as dating from circa 1907)
Paris, Grand Palais, La Grande aventure du Salon d'automne: 75 ans d'ardeur: Les Fauves, 1979, no. 24, illustrated in color in the catalogue
Saint-Tropez, Musée de l'Annonciade & Toulouse, Réfectoire des Jacobins, Kees van Dongen, 1985, no. 30, illustrated in color in the catalogue

Jean Claude, "Un Salon russe dans l'atelier de feu Steinheil," in Le Petit Parisien, Paris, no. 12410, October 21, 1910, illustrated in situ p. 2
Charles Wentinck, Van Dongen, Amsterdam, 1964, illustrated pl. 4

Painted in 1910, Trinidad Fernandez arises from an exceptionally fruitful period in Kees van Dongen’s career. Following the success of his earlier Fauve works, van Dongen traveled extensively in Spain, Morocco and Egypt where he spent years absorbing inspiration for a series of landscapes and observing the cultural contrasts to his adopted city of Paris. Inspired by the flamenco dancers and bohemiennes he encountered in Seville in 1910, van Dongen’s painting from this period distills the movement and Andalusian features of his muses into fanciful portraits. “Paintings produced in Seville, with titles like Joaquina, Carmen and Trinidad Fernandez, reflect van Dongen's interest in elaborately-decorated shawls and in dark-eyed southern women. Brilliantly, the shaped shawls show fabric and paint at the same time, with the dangling threads executed as coarse trails of paint over the lighter-coloured clothing' (Anita Hopmans in All eyes on Kees van Dongen (exhibition catalogue), Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, 2010, p. 94).

Though named “Trinidad Fernandez,” the identity of the sitter is subsumed by the artist’s heightened attention to costume and his lively interpretation of the Spanish aesthetic. Her elaborate mantilla is simplified into swathes of pure, unctuous color, the rich blacks of the lace offset by touches of brilliant blue and violet. Recalling his Fauvist expressions, van Dongen’s bold handling of the paint in the woman’s dress and striking color choice of crimson around her head are balanced against the careful rendering of the sitter’s face. Her delicate visage retains the chromatic contrasts of green, pink and yellow which characterize so many the artist’s most successful works.

A stunning exemplar of van Dongen’s portraiture, Trinidad Fernandez marks something of an awakening for the artist. Such paintings created amid his southern travels proved exciting additions to his earlier, psychologically penetrating portrayals of women. Van Dongen’s experiences in Spain left an indelible mark on his œuvre and pervaded his paintings of the beau monde long after his return to Paris; thereafter, laced mantillas and gilded shawls would grace socialites' shoulders and imbue them with charm borrowed from the artist’s memories of the Iberian south.

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Currently Available for Private Sale

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