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Kees Van Dongen

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameCornelis Theodorus Maria "Kees"•Van Dongen
Used nameKees•Van Dongen
Born26 January 1877 in Delfshaven (NED)
Died28 May 1968 in Monte Carlo (MON)
NOC France


Born in Rotterdam (Netherlands), Kees van Dongen left for Paris at age 20. There, he married Augusta Preitinger, an artist he had met during a brief stint at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Rotterdam (they would divorce in 1921). Initially, Van Dongen earned a living as a house painter and magazine illustrator. His breakthrough came in 1905 with a controversial exposition in the Salon d’Automne, which earned the artists on display the nickname Les Fauves („the wild beasts“), which eventually resulted in the fauvist style, characterized by crude forms and bright colors.

He was originally known for painting (female) nudes, but from the 1920s he turned to portrait painting of famous persons – such as Aga Khan III, Maurice Chevalier and Brigitte Bardot – which is generally considered to be of lower artistic quality than his earlier work. In 1926, Van Dongen was made a member of the French Legion of Honor, and in 1929 he became a French citizen. The last few years of his life, he lived in Monaco, where he died in 1968, aged 91. His younger brother, Jan van Dongen, was also an artist (a sculptor).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1932 Summer Olympics Art Competitions FRA Kees Van Dongen
Painting, Unknown Event, Open (Olympic) AC
Painting, Unknown Event, Open (Olympic) AC