Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Kees Van Dongen - The Corn Poppy (LE COQUELICOT)

Oil on Canvas, 1919

For me this was the stand out piece of Van Dongen's work, the colour and expression perhaps sum up the voyeuristic nature of Van Dongen's style. I couldn't find any information on the composition and such and I'm certainly no equipped to do it myself so instead here's some of his other paintings and a more in depth look at the last. If any one has any info on the Corn Poppy please add it below.


SPRING - 1908

Anita aux fleurs 1905

Here is a some info about this painting from www.christies.com, the full article is really good.

Painted in 1905, Anita aux fleurs is filled with the life, movement, sensuality and colour that marked the high point of Van Dongen's unique and idiosyncratic Fauve pictures. This was the year of the famous, and at the time notorious, Salon d'Automne when the paintings of Vlaminck, Derain and Matisse had resulted in the coining of the phrase 'Fauve' to describe them. Van Dongen had already been associated loosely with these artists, and his own pictures from the period were exhibited in another nearby room at the Salon. The works from his Fauve period, often considered the greatest of all his paintings, were fuelled by the artist's own uninhibited, unrestrained enthusiasm for life and the senses, for the modern pulsing existence of Parisian nights in the clubs and the private homes of the bohemian circle of his acquaintance.

Where other Fauve artists focussed on landscape and portraiture, Van Dongen took a long, penetrating and highly subjective look at the Parisian nightlife that so fascinated him and translated it into his vigorous, incandescent canvases. Discussing his decision to move to the French capital from Rotterdam, he said, 'Paris attracted me like a lighthouse' (Van Dongen, quoted in The Van Dongen Nobody Knows: Early and Fauvist Drawings 1895-1912, exh.cat., Rotterdam, Lyons and Paris, 1997, p. 26). There, he captured modern existence in a way that the other artists of his generation did not. Indeed, arguably his only true forebear was Toulouse-Lautrec, an influence seen in the style of Van Dongen's late nineteenth-century works on paper and in the content of these scenes of the constant festival, the moveable feast, that was Paris. Van Dongen's ability to capture the unique energy and sense of decadence of the era earned him acclaim and criticism in almost equal measure, even a decade and a half after Anita aux fleurs was painted.
full article

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