Lot n° 129
30 000 - 50 000 EUR
Kees VAN DONGEN (1877-1968)
The lover leaves. The girl stays... with her child!, 1901
Ink, storytelling pencil, coloured pencils, wash, watercolour
Signed in black ink "van Dongen" lower left, annotated in storytelling pencil lower right "21 x 25" On
the back in blue pencil annotated "648" and "p. 2 cover without..."
64.4 x 49.5 cm
Tear at the foot on a height of 10 cm without loss of material.
Van Dongen illustrates with 16 plates the whole issue of the satirical magazine of October 1901 "L'assiette au beurre" titled "Petite histoire pour petits et grands nenfants". These illustrations with a moral purpose describe one of the miserable aspects of the Belle Époque, the story of a woman abandoned with her little girl by her lover.
Through this series we read the social fatality of a young woman forced to prostitute herself out of necessity. The unfolding of her destiny is symbolized by the annotations 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th ghosts that mark the different stages of the decline linked to prostitution: abandonment (contempt), poverty, illness and death.
At her death, her teenage daughter will engage in the same trade as her mother, drawn into the whirlwind of gallantry and thus perpetuating the tragic fate that befalls each Loreto.
- Our final drawing is intended for the publication of "L'Assiette au beurre", n° 30 of October 26, 1901, reproduced on page 461bis. One will notice the signature placed high to give place to the printed text.
- The lithograph resulting from our drawing is reproduced in J. Juffermans, "Kees van Dongen, The Graphic Work", Lund Humphries Publishers Ltd, 2003, p. 11.
The preparatory drawing is reproduced in:
- Sales catalogue at the Hôtel Rameau in Versailles of 6 December 1970, lot 53.
- J.M. Kyriazi, "Van Dongen et le fauvisme", Lausanne-Paris, 1971, No. 16, p. 56; "Van Dongen, le peintre 1877-1968", Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 1990, No. 8, p. 213.
- "Van Dongen found. L'oeuvre sur papier 1895-1912", Museum Boijimans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam / Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon / Institut Néerlandais, Paris, 1996-1997, n° 40, pp. 130 and 135.
In his early years in Holland and then in Paris (1896-1904) Van Dongen drew much more than he painted. The technical basics of lithography were taught to him by HG Ibels during his lectures in Rotterdam in 1896.
Under the direction of S. Schwarz "L'Assiette au beurre", a satirical magazine, appeared weekly between 1901 and 1912 and then monthly before disappearing in 1936.
No. 31 gives Van Dongen carte blanche, which will considerably impose the artist's name, entrusting him with the task of illustrating the magazine entirely with an anarchist sensibility. This publication is characterized by a full-page illustration where the drawing must be explanatory, the text being summarized in one or two sentences.
The original drawings were probably returned to Van Dongen, before reappearing under the hammer of Maître Blache at Versailles in 1970 and 1971.
Van Dongen used for each of the preparatory drawings a paper of much larger dimensions than the reproductions in "L'Assiette au beurre". This paper common to all 16 illustrations is watermarked B CRAYON-ANC NE MANUF RE CANSON & MONTGOLFIER-VIDALON-FILS-ANNONAY with a minimum size of 63 x 48.5 cm.
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