In 1905, Kees Van Dongen participated in the Salon d’Automne that resulted in the coining of the term ‘Fauvisme’. Van Dongen’s work of that period shared the simplified forms, bright unnatural colours and thickly applied paint of artists such as Matisse and Vlaminck, but his relationship with Fauvism has always been seen as peripheral. Van Dongen was born in Delfshaven and enrolled at the Rotterdam Academy of Fine Arts and Technical Science at age 15. In 1897, he went to Paris for the first time, settling there permanently in 1901. In Paris he became known for his erotic images of women, a fact which makes Printemps unique. The painting, one of two versions, depicts the scene of a marriage proposal in Normandy. It was given to Mrs. Stern by Van Dongen and when she asked him why he had left the priest out of the picture in the later version, he replied that it took so long for the man to ask, that the priest got bored and went back to church.