Van Dongen, Kees

1877 – 1968

Born in Rotterdam, Kees Van Dongen began his formal training in a local school of industrial design and decorative arts. He soon gravitated toward painting and drawing and his first published works, mostly of street women, caused quite a scandal.

He soon found himself in Paris and under the influence of Toulouse Lautrec and Steinlen. His personal life was rather tumultuous and he moved around Europe looking for commissions for society portraits which became his main source of income.

Despite his connections to high society, he was most sympathetic to street characters and the less fortunate. Known primarily as a painter, Van Dongen executed many striking lithographs and etchings, mostly on the subject of women.