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van Dongen, Kees [Dutch, 1877-1968] 

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van Dongen, Kees [Dutch, 1877-1968]


[ 20th Century Artists | Fauvist Artists ]
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(Cornelis Theodorus Maria) Kees van Dongen (b Delfshaven, nr Rotterdam, 26 January 1877; d Monte Carlo, 28 May 1968), was a French painter and printmaker of Dutch birth. He took evening classes in geometric drawing from 1892 to 1897 at the Akademie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Rotterdam. In 1895 he began working intermittently for the newspaper Rotterdamsche Nieuwsblad, for which he made, among other things, a series of bright watercolor drawings of Rotterdam's red-light district and illustrations of Queen Wilhelmina's coronation. Van Dongen's first paintings used dark tones in imitation of Rembrandt, who remained the most important model for his work; his later book on Rembrandt was, in fact, a projection of his own life. By the mid-1890s he was using more vivid contrasts of black and white, for example in Spotted Chimera (1895; private collection), his palette soon becoming brighter and his line more animated. In Le Muet Windmill (1896; private collection), a red ochre monochrome painting, he successfully enlivened the color by means of broad, energetic brushstrokes.

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  van Dongen, Kees [Dutch, 1877-1968]

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