Kees van Dongen (1990) Willem Verbon

BKOR archive
About the artwork

This plaque with the portrait of painter Kees van Dongen was a gift from sculptor Willem Verbon. Verbon made the work in 1986 and in 1990 he donated the plaque to the municipality of Rotterdam. Dolly, the daughter of Van Dongen, revealed it later that year at this location near the mill on the Voorhaven. Because even though Kees van Dongen had sought connection with artists' circles in Paris at the start of the 20 century, he was born in Delfshaven. As a homage, Verbon designed a bronze relief that is glued to a natural stone circle. This whole is placed obliquely on a brick-built brick base. The loose sketchy style of Verbon is similar to the painting style of Van Dongen, who built up his canvases from loose color keys. In addition to a portrait of the painter with his palette and brushes, the plaque contains the text: 'Delfshaven, 1877 - Monte Carlo, 1968'.

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About the artist

Willem Verbon (Rotterdam, 1921-2003) attended classes at the evening academy in the 1930s. Immediately after the war, Verbon was commissioned to create a monument in honor of the Royal Air Force. He was offered a post-graduate scholar ship by the British government and left for London for a few years. In the early years of 50, Verbon returned to Rotterdam, where he moved into a studio in the Oranjeboomstraat. Verbon sculpted various statues and monuments for important people from Rotterdam and members of the Royal Family. A lot of his work can be found in Rotterdam.

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