Kees van Dongen: "Mind my words; I'm going to be famous."
My friend and I visited the Singer Laren Museum to see a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition, “The Road to Success – Kees van Dongen”, compiled by guest curator Anita Hopmans, Senior Conservator at the RKD.
Van Dongen (1877-1968) was born in Delfshaven. He left to settle in Montmartre, the artistic center of Paris, where he developed from an illustrator to a successful fauvist artist and attracted attention with his colorful portraits of women and exuberant studio parties. The Fauves, a derogatory word meaning “wild beasts,” were Expressionists who continued painting with pure vivid colors as carriers of emotion.
“Mind my words; I’m going to be famous.” The young artist predicted his success by saying these words. He proved himself right due to his talent, ambition, self-confidence, and networking skills. He became, together with Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, and Pablo Picasso, one of the most famous expressionists of the twentieth century.