Kees Van Dongen painted La femme renversée in 1910, at the age of 33. In this painting, where he addresses a theme dear to him, that of the abandoned woman, the artist mischievously revisits the traditional genre of the reclining female nude.

To achieve this, Van Dongen opts for a close-up framing that partially cuts off the head of his model. Through this, the painter gives the viewer the role of the abandoner: an indelicate lover or a client of brothels whose creatures he likes to depict in the most basic attire because for him, "impudence is truly a virtue like the lack of respect for many respectable things".

He also chooses to represent his model from the back, against a neutral background, and in a contorted position reminiscent of that of Auguste Clésinger's sultry Femme piquée par un serpent (Paris, Musée d'Orsay). However, he abandons its marble-like whiteness in favor of bold touches of color applied in thick layers - red, green, and yellow. These are typical of Fauvism, to which he has been linked since his participation in the Salon d'Automne alongside Matisse, Derain, and Vlaminck.

The painting was acquired in 1910, the year of its creation, by the famous Bernheim-Jeune gallery, with which Van Dongen was then under contract. It was then probably sold to the collector Alphonse Kahn, who co-founded the first Aux Galeries Lafayette store in 1894. In 1964, it was featured in a retrospective exhibition organized by the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon. Finally, in 1988, it joined the walls of a private Swiss collection. After 35 years on the shores of Lake Geneva, it will return to the auction block in Neuilly-sur-Seine.

Kees Van Dongen (1877-1968)
La femme renversée,1910
Oil on canvas, signed lower left
53,9 x 64,9 cm

This work will be included in the Digital Catalogue Raisonné Kees Van Dongen currently being prepared by the Wildenstein Plattner Institute.

Vente, Jean Staehli, Genève, 13 décembre 1988, lot 102
Private collection, Switzerland (acquired during the previous sale)

Van Dongen, Lyon, Musée des Beaux-Arts, 15 juin-10 juillet 1964, n°24

Lot sold on reiteration of bids in accordance with the procedure detailed in Article L.321-14 of the French Commercial Code.

Click here to discover the Impressionist & Modern Art auction
Wednesday 12 june 2024, 3pm

For any further information, please contact
Pierre-Alban Vinquant
+33 (0)1 47 45 08 20