Léon Spilliaert is one of the most famous Belgian symbolist painters. He was born in 1881 in Ostende and died in 1946 in Brussels. Already early, he became passionate about painting and literature. At 18, he enrolled at the Bruges Academy, but ended his studies after a few months. From 1903-1904, he worked for the renowned Brussels publisher, Edmond Deman.
From 1907 to 1913, Léon Spilliaert gradually managed to make a name for himself in the industry. His works are exhibited in many places: Salon De Printemps by Jean De Mot, Salon des Indépendants de Bruxelles , Salon Doe stil voort or at the exhibition Les Bleus de la GGG .
In 1916, he married Rachel Vergison and settled with her in Brussels where their daughter was born. After the war, he collaborated with the Selection group which exhibited his works for several years. In 1922, the first exhibition entirely devoted to his paintings took place in the Brussels gallery Centaure . From 1925 to 1931, he exhibited his works at the Kursaal in Ostend. In 1937, he joined the Compagnons de l’Art.
Léon Spilliaert died in November 1946, leaving behind a very extensive work mainly comprising empty spaces such as beaches and maritime areas inspired by the Ostend landscape. He also produced self-portraits. His works are imbued with a certain melancholy and sadness. The artist treats chiaroscuro wonderfully. He uses different materials such as goulash, watercolor or pastel.
His most famous works: The Absinthe Drinker (1904), The Self-Portrait (1908), Moonlight and Lights (1909), La Poursuite (1910), The Royal Park in Brussels (1917) and The Tunnel (1935) ). Today you can admire some of his works at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, at the Mu.ZEE and at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. The latter will also organize an exhibition on Léon Spilliaert during the year 2020.
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