Summer Newsletter: Art in Boijmans and in the port of Rotterdam
20 June 2010

Restoration Kees van Dongen

The Exhibition with international master pieces from Kees van Dongen, will soon create a fabulous atmosphere in Van Dongens hometown, Rotterdam. On show is also the just resored painting 'The Finger on the Cheek'.

Kees van Dongen, A Finger on her Cheek, 1910. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam. Photo John Tromp
Kees van Dongen, A Finger on her Cheek, 1910. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam. Photo John Tromp

18 September 2010 - 23 January 2011

Here and there you already hear whispers, ‘Kees van Dongen, in Rotterdam, all his masterpieces together, is that true?’ The rumours are true. This autumn some eighty top works from all over the world by ‘our very own’ world-famous painter, Kees van Dongen, are being assembled in Rotterdam. This exhibition, with many of his colourful female portraits, is an absolute must for admirers of large-format modern, romantic and classical art.

The famous painting Le doigt sur la joue (The Finger on the Cheek) from the museum’s collection has been restored specially for the exhibition. The colours in this beautiful female portrait are now brighter and the forms are sharper. The restored painting can be seen for the first time in this exhibition.

Seductive females
The exhibition on Kees van Dongen includes colourful examples of Van Dongen’s portraits and extravagant works made in his studios in Paris. An important part of the exhibition is devoted to the paintings Van Dongen made following his trips to Egypt, Spain and Morocco (1910-1913). These seductive female portraits with Oriental influences, intense colours and sumptuous decorative accents are among his best works.

Seven fascinating Kees van Dongen facts:
1. Van Dongen was followed by the world’s press from Paris to Tokyo.
2. He had a glamorous lifestyle: his lavish studio parties were attended by film stars, famous politicians and artists.  
3. The young Brigitte Bardot modelled for Kees van Dongen in the 1950s.
4. In the 1920s Kees van Dongen shared a studio with Picasso.
5. Kees van Dongen’s works are auctioned for millions of euros – one recently sold for eight million.
6. Kees van Dongen has inspired many people, including most recently the famous fashion designer Vera Wang’s autumn 2008 collection.
7. Kees van Dongen received France’s highest honour: the Legion d’Honneur 

The exhibition has been made possible by Unilever and the Turing Foundation, and is a highlight of the official programme of Holland Art Cities 2009-2010.