1877 - 1968
Kees Van Dongen
Kees van Dongen was born on January 26, 1877, in the suburbs of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. He studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rotterdam while helping the family brewing industry. Inspired by Rembrandt, he painted landscape paintings in subdued colors during this period.
Moving to Paris in 1897, he joined the Fauvist movement in 1906, discovering his unique style of painting with fresh colors and powerful brushstrokes. He gained his popularity, especially for his decadent, erotic portraits.
Around the 1920s and 30s, Van Dongen became famous in social circles as a portrait artist after a series of requests from upper class women to paint portraits. He has also painted French actress Brigitte Bardot.
During this time he lived in a mansion in the 17th arrondissement of Paris and regularly holds solo exhibitions. He received the Legion of Honor in 1926 and the Order of the Crown in Belgium in 1927. He continued his work in his studio in the 17th arrondissement of Paris and died in 1968 in Monte Carlo, Monaco at the age of 91.
His work is now in collections at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, and the Orangerie Museum in Paris.