van Dongen, Kees (Cornelis Theodores Marie) (1877-1968) by Scholes, Robert

Kees (Cornelis Theodores Marie) van Dongen (1877 – 1968) He was born in Delfhaven, a suburb of Rotterdam and attended the Royal Academy of Painting at Rotterdam, though he later claimed to be self-taught. There he met Augusta Preitinger, who later became his wife. After doing some work for local newspapers, in 1897 he made his first trip to Paris, where he earned a precarious living, sketching people in the streets and doing other small jobs. There he encountered some of the anarchist painters and writers, attracting the notice of Félix Fénéon, who was a friend of , , and . He also began illustrating for French newspapers and journals, drawing powerful ink sketches of prostitutes, for example in 1901. In 1903 Fénéon got him started working for , where he met a new circle of artists, including and , and, through them . In 1903 he showed his work at the Salon d’Automne, and in 1904 he was picked up by Vollard’s gallery. In 1906 he moved into the Bateau Lavoire, where Picasso lived. The rest is history, as he went on to help found fauvism, and remain an important Parisian painter for many years. During World War II, he was considered too sympathatic to the German invaders, and his shows were boycotted by the French. Some years after the war he moved to Monaco, where he died in 1968. Seurat Signac Pissaro La Revue Blanche Derain Vlaminck Picasso

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