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31

Kees van Dongen

NATURE MORTE AVEC POUPÉE

Kees van Dongen

Kees van Dongen

NATURE MORTE AVEC POUPÉE

NATURE MORTE AVEC POUPÉE

KEES VAN DONGEN

NATURE MORTE AVEC POUPÉE


signed lower right van Dongen.;

signed, dated and inscribed on the stretcher van Dongen14 juin 1940/ .Margoden

oil on canvas

24 by 18 1/8 in.; 61 by 46 cm

framed: 32 1/8 by 26 3/8 in.; 81.6 by 67 cm

painted on 14 June 1940


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.

The canvas is lined. Some old pigment shrinkage and craquelure in the grey pigments of the background and in the light pink pigments of the figure's face which have been filled in. Some pigment shrinkage in the navy blue pigments. Two small pigment losses in the blue base of the rocking horse at right. One nailhead-sized pigment loss in the lower half of the left edge. Under UV light: a few strokes of retouching along the upper edge near the upper right corner. One stroke of retouching near the center of the left edge. One stroke of inpainting in the grey pigments of the background in center left, to address a prior loss. Evidence of retouching visible in the aforementioned areas of craquelure and pigment shrinkage in the grey background and in the figure's face. The work is in overall good condition.


In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

Nature morte avec poupée is a striking example of Kees van Dongen’s unique approach to the traditional still life genre. The colorful embroidery of the doll’s dress, framed by the glimmering beads of the golden slippers and the delicate blue hues of the porcelain horse, imbue the canvas with a striking textural quality that transforms the typically unassuming subject into a dynamic composition.

The artist’s handling of paint and employment of color grants this work an expressive and highly-charged quality. Reflecting his artistic roots in the Fauve movement, which he practiced with two of the movement's principle exponents, André Derain and Maurice de Vlaminck, van Dongen retained his love for thickly applied paint and highly saturated hues. The present work is reminiscent of the commissioned portraits of Parisian elite that would define van Dongen’s oeuvre, in which the artist rendered elegant, Parisian women with a doll-like quality through flattened perspectives and bold color and texture. Van Dongen's still lifes demonstrate the artist's remarkable ability to distill traditional subject matter to its color and energy. So focused was Van Dongen's obsession with color, scholar William Steadman has suggested that it held a symbolic meaning and status for the artist (W.E. Steadman & D. Sutton, Cornelius Theodorus Marie Van Dongen, Tuscon 1971, pp. 20-28).

The present work evokes the color and expressive line that became the quintessence of his style. In 1926, the artist was inducted into the French Legion of Honor, and, in 1927, awarded the Order of the Crown of Belgium. Van Dongen’s approach to art earned him international approbation and Nature morte avec poupée beautifully epitomizes the intoxicating painterly intensity for which he was most well-known.