Kees van Dongen was born on January 26th 1877, in Delfshaven near Rotterdam. Early in his artistic activity, he was inspired by the Impressionists and influenced by their style. Van Dongen studied at the Academy of Rotterdam but did not finish his studies there. He made a living working for the magazines Groene and Rotterdam Neusblad. He published drawings of daily life around the harbor that created a scandal.
In 1897, he went to Paris, where he lived at the Bateau-Lavoir. There he worked as an illustrator for La Revue Blanche and L'Assiette au Beurre. In 1903, Van Dongen exhibited his works for the first time, and later joined Matisse at the Vollard Gallery. Even if the Dutch painter was associated to the Fauvist group in 1905, his affinity with the German Expressionists is recognizable in his works. The color intensity characterizes his work and increases the expressiveness of his paintings.
In 1908, he became a member of the group of German Expressionists « Die Brücke » and exhibited with them.
At the end of World War I, Van Dongen was discovered by the high society. Then, he began to paint many portraits, becoming a chronicler of the 1920's and 1930's. His expressive portraits and landscapes were much appreciated by the audience and marked his success.
Kees van Dongen died on May 28th 1968, in Monte Carlo.

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