Born in Rotterdam, Holland in 1877, Kees Van Dongen’s paintings portray the vibrancy of the Fauvist style, whilst oozing with the glamour and wealth of French society in the early 20th century. He also had a name that is great to say, rife with innuendo… say it out loud if you don’t believe me. He settled in Paris in 1899, and once he began exhibiting in the contemporary salons his earlier training in draughtsmanship played second fiddle to his new approach to art: tonnes of bold colour, lashes of paint and a hunt for innovation.

Kees Van Dongen in his studio (6 Rue Saulnier, Paris), c. 1910 — can we also have a moment of appreciation for his beard please.

Kees van Dongen could easily…

The connection between art and food has been a topic that has inspired critics and scholars for decades. Still life artworks are often homages to anything from eggs to broccoli heads and food has featured in art in some pretty radical ways… I’m looking at you, Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s crazy Renaissance heads, dedicated to the four seasons and four elements.

You’ll even see current television shows treating food and cooking in an artistic way, with long panning shots of beautifully presented bowls of deconstructed lasagne — look no further than the cult Netflix hit The Chef’s Table. The chefs become akin…

Amelia Rowland

Occasional writer, full time digital communicator with old things

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