Kees van Dongen
oil on canvas
64,7 x 54 cm (25 1/2 x 21 1/4 in.)
signed upper right
After his fauvistic high point, there is an increasing diversification in van Dongen's painting. Sophisticated life and his travels to the south changed van Dongen's pictorial view. His increasing work as a painter of commissioned portraits since around 1911 also led to a wider range of stylistic representations. After the realistic and impressionist beginnings and the decidedly Fauvist period, van Dongen mixed these painterly possibilities into a kind of urban orientalism, which also shows the artist's interest in contemporary fashion. This pluralism of styles did not change the specific sensuality, the vibrant expression that van Dongen was able to give to his representations. Van Dongen paints the portrait of the blonde lady with a hat, which was created around 1912, in bold colors, but instead of wildly fauvistic in a rather impressionist style that makes the lady dreamy and lovely-gentle at first glance. While the portrayed in this special portrait is unknown, it shows the attributes of the upper middle class: a dainty chain with a pendant, an imposing, flower-decorated fur hat and draped, reserved clothes, chic and fashionable for that time. She is still cat-like in her averted, but intense look and the slightly pursed lips, which give her a certain superiority.
Kees van Dongen · Portrait de femme blonde au chapeau