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Kees van Dongen (1877 - 1968) and Foujita Tsuguharu (1886 - 1968)
On my way to a meeting of the Stipend committee in the eighties, I saw
this watercolor in a window of a shop on the Haarlemmerdijk in
Amsterdam. After asking prices of some random objects, I got around to
this watercolor; "Oh, the van Dongen / Foujita?" the manager said. He
said he was asking only three hundred guilders because he wasn't so sure
that he would have an authentic van Dongen in his store. I offered him
two hundred and was about to leave when he agreed and told me never to
tell him if it proved to be an authentic work by van Dongen and Foujita.
One day my colleague and friend Janjelle Stroosma visited me and saw the watercolor. He remembered a story he had heard from the graphic artist Wim Zwiers: van Dongen and Foujita wandered into an auction that was taking place in Paris in 1929, their painting materials still with them. The auctioneer recognized them immediately and asked them to make a work on the spot and donate it to the charity for which the auction was being held, which indeed they did. Janjelle was yet unaware that I had found an auction sticker on the back of the watercolor. If anyone reading this has more information on this story, then please email me - lucien at denarend dot com.