Kees van Dongen: the exotic, erotic dancer

💃 HELLO HONEYS! DANCE IS HERE AGAIN. LET’S MOVE OUR HIPS.

DANCE IMAGES IN THE ART OF THE NETHERLANDS

As a young man, the Dutch artist, Kees van Dongen travelled to Paris. He resided in Montmartre, living in a flat with a view of the Moulin de la Galette, the famous dance hall, from his rear window. The dance-halls, the circus, the cafés, the theatres all sparked Van Dongen’s imagination. His models were harlots, dancers, actresses and chansonnières, figures from the demi-monde. His work was bold, provocative and frequently controversial. Van Dongen, a Fauvist at the time, rendered his subjects in brilliant hues, executed in solid planes of colour, often painted with a heavy brushstroke.

Orientalism, especially that of the Arab world, was extremely popular in Paris in the early decades of the 20th century. High society dressed in exotic clothing, decorated their salons in vibrant oriental colour schemes, wore jewellery inspired by a Thousand and One Nights, complemented with perfumes as seductive as those worn by Schéhérazade…

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