Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Bardot and van Dongen - The Sex Icon and the Wild Beast

BB regards the work in progress

In 1959, Franco-Dutch artist Kees van Dongen painted a portrait of French cinema icon Brigitte Bardot. 25-year old BB was on the verge of becoming the sex symbol of the new decade, while 82-year old van Dongen was coming to the end of his illustrious career. 

In 1950, at the age of 15, Bardot appeared on the front cover of Elle magazine, and in 1956 starred in the international success Et Dieu... crea la femme [And God Created Woman]. Over 50 years earlier van Dongen was one of the avant garde group of artists known as fauvists, or wild beasts, and in the course of his career painted many portraits. In addition to BB, he painted King Leopold III of Belgium, and the popular French singer and entertainer Maurice Chevalier.

The finished work

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