Think of Kees van Dongen and you immediately think of portraits of beautiful women. Women dressed in owns by the fashion designer Paul Poiret, women of easy virtue, opera singers, women from distant lands, acrobats and chic ladies from high society. Kees van Dongen loved beautiful women.
Van Dongen shared his life with a variety of women. Van Dongen once said about painting women: ‘The essential rule is to make them look taller and more slender on the canvas. Then you have to make their jewels look slightly bigger. Then they are always satisfied.’
The exhibition features more than sixty glorious paintings, the majority of which are female portraits. Van Dongen also painted landscapes, interiors and a few men. But it is the women – naked or clothed – that are best represented in the exhibition, just as in his own life.
This month’s issue of Oog magazine devotes an article to Van Dongen’s muses such as Guus Preitinger, Jasmy Jacob, Renée Maha and Marie-Claire Huguen. The September issue of Elsevier Stijl features a beautiful fashion shoot by photographer Miep Jukkema with styling à la Van Dongen: women with black-ringed eyes, large chains and elegant outfits who appear to have stepped out of a Van Dongen canvas.