Léon Spilliaert is considered to be one of the most important Belgian painters, alongside R. Magritte, J. Ensor, P. Delvaux.... However, he is less well known...
A man of disquieting solitudes and infinite perspectives, Spilliaert (1881-1946) surprises, baffled by unclassifiable works, inventing a singular symbolism of the inner night.
Spilliaert was born in Oostende. His nocturnal walks in the deserted city will be a source of inspiration for his work. He is almost entirely self-taught.
He is influenced by the artistic currents of the end of the century: symbolism and expressionism. Spilliaert is an explorer of the unconscious and existential anxieties at a time when the human sciences are advancing in the understanding of the psyche. He is passionate about Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Chateaubriand and Lautréamont.
Inspired by the literature of Verhaeren and Maeterlinck, he draws ghostly and solitary figures, masked faces with haggard eyes that flirt with expressionism, while some of his landscapes, purified to the extreme, could make him a precursor of minimalism. A master of ink and paper, he managed to create extraordinary nuances within a limited range of colors.
However he is above all an individualist who cannot be classified in a single current.
The catalog focuses on the years 1896 to 1919, the most intense years in the artist's career, and presents his most radical works.
Exhibition from February 23 to September 20, 2020 at the Royal Academy, London, from October 13, 2020 to January 10, 2021 at the Musée d'Orsay, Paris.
Publication date: October 7, 2020
Format: 22.4 x 28.8 cm
Illustrations : 130
Co-published by Rmn Grand Palais, Musée d'Orsay
- Paris - Musée d'Orsay
- Art movements
- Expressionism, Symbolism
- Léon Spilliaert (1881-1946)