Vase d'orchidées by Kees van Dongen
Vase d'orchidées by Kees van Dongen Vase d'orchidées by Kees van Dongen Vase d'orchidées by Kees van Dongen Vase d'orchidées by Kees van Dongen Vase d'orchidées by Kees van Dongen
Vase d'orchidées by Kees van Dongen

Vase d'orchidées by Kees van Dongen

  • This incredible still life is the work of the legendary Kees van Dongen
  • The Modernist artist is known for his dramatic use of vivid color
  • The artist presents this vase of lilacs with intensity that is true to his Fauvist ideals
  • Still lifes are some of the most desired works in van Dongen's oeuvre
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Item No. 30-9307
Price: Available upon request
description
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description
Kees van Dongen
1877-1968 | Dutch-French

Vase d'orchidées

Signed "van Dongen" (lower right); inscribed "van Dongen" en verso
Oil on canvas

Life is beautiful, and this work is even more beautiful than life.
– Kees van Dongen

An artist whose career was defined by brilliant color and boundless originality, Kees van Dongen's style grabbed the attention of early 20th-century art connoisseurs, ranking him one of the leading Modernists of the era. This expertise is showcased here in Vase d'orchidées, a painting that epitomizes van Dongen's virtuosic use of color and dramatic brushwork.

Painted during an incredibly prolific time of his career, van Dongen places of full display the richness and intensity of color and composition for which he is renowned. The artist is true to the movement he is best associated – the Fauvist or "wild beasts" (so named for their vigorous and powerful use of bold colorations). The composition presents a profusion of colors with a stunning lilac taking center stage. From behind these beautiful blossoms peaks a background of lush greens and passionate crimson, allowing the orchids to dominate.

Van Dongen received his early artistic training at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Rotterdam. He moved to Paris in the early 1900s, settling in the Montmartre district, known then the artistic hub of the city. There Van Dongen found himself immersed in an environment that stimulated his creativity and inspired him to begin exhibiting his paintings. Even in his earliest shows his works were showcased alongside the artistic masters of the day. In the 1905 Salon d'Automne, in fact, Van Dongen's paintings were hung in the same gallery as those of 21st-century revolutionary Henri Matisse.

To have his works displayed near those of Matisse was an honor for the young artist, but this exhibition bore even greater significance, as it was from this pivotal showing that Fauvism, the "wild beast" of the early 1900s, was born. Matisse had pioneered the Fauvist technique, exemplified by intensely expressive colors and intense brushwork. Van Dongen's early paintings bore the hallmarks of this explosive expression, ushering him into the circle of the leading avant-garde painters of the day, including Maurice de Vlaminck, Edouard Vuillard, and Pablo Picasso. By the end of the decade, Van Dongen's works were also featured in the gallery of Ambroise Vollard, considered by many the most important French contemporary art dealer of the early-20th century.

The onset of World War I proved detrimental to artists across Europe, and Van Dongen was no exception. The years immediately following the war, however, were some of his most prolific and profitable. In addition to painting still lifes, Van Dongen also accepted portrait commissions. By the 1920s, his reputation as a preeminent portraitist among the most elite echelons of Parisian society garnered him extraordinarily high wages for his works. These commissions not only granted the artist financial security, but they also allowed him the freedom to devote significant time to his unending quest for originality. So, when not completing commissions, Van Dongen returned to his passion, the genre of still life, where he continued to play with color and form.

Van Dongen's still lifes are some of the most desirable works by the artist available today. Many are already sequestered in museum collections, such as the fantastic Still Life with Flowers which graces the collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

Circa 1910

Canvas: 13 3/4" high x 9 1/2" wide
Frame: 20 7/8" high x 16 1/2" wide

Artist's Select Museums:Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
Réunion des Musées Nationaux, France
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nice, Nice, France
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, Québec, Canada
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, New York
Museum of Modern Art, New York City, New York
National Museum of Art, Washington D.C.
specifications
Artist: van Dongen, Kees
Framed:16.5"W x 20.875"H
Unframed:9.5"W x 13.75"H
Period: 1816-1918
Origin:France
Subject:Still Life
Depth:3.5 Inches
Width:16.5 Inches
Height:20.875 Inches
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