Highlights Winter Exhibition 2022

The catalogue with highlights of our selling exhibition Winter 2022 with rare paintings, unique sculptures and magnificent silver by Belgian artists working between the 1880's and 1980's. More than 240 pages of marvels!

The catalogue with highlights of our selling exhibition Winter 2022 with rare paintings, unique sculptures and magnificent silver by Belgian artists working between the 1880's and 1980's. More than 240 pages of marvels!


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<strong>Highlights</strong> <strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />

S e l l i n g e x h i b i t i o n<br />

Fine Art & Decorative Arts<br />

Galerie St-John, Gent / st-john.be

“[…] Daarnaast heb ik een uitgesproken voorkeur voor einzelgängers,<br />

voor kunstenaars die door de mazen van het te strakke net van de<br />

kunstgeschiedenis vallen, voor buiten de schijnwerpers werkende artiesten die in<br />

hun maquis een eigenzinnige wereldje scheppen,<br />

voor kunstenaars die moeilijk voor de wagen van nieuwe bewegingen en tendensen<br />

kunnen worden gespannen, maar die achteraf veel boeiender blijken dan de<br />

representatieve kopstukken uit een of andere richting. Hiermee wil ik geen pleidooi<br />

houden voor een overjaarse, traditionalistische en louter behoudsgezinde kunst,<br />

wel voor eenzaten die terzijde van de zenuwachtige artificiële tempoversnellingen<br />

een moderne kunst voortbrachten en voortbrengen die onvermurwbaar<br />

voorbijgaat aan het kortstondige moment van de vernieuwende flits<br />

en die in de allereerste plaats tijdeloosheid beoogt.”<br />

R. Jooris, Uit mijn Plastisch Logboek - V in Revolver 141, jaargang 35/4 maart 2009, p. 62.

“[…] In addition, I have a strong preference for einzelgängers,<br />

for artists who fall through the cracks of art history,<br />

for artists working outside the limelight who create<br />

an idiosyncratic world in their maquis,<br />

for artists who cannot easily be forced to following<br />

the new movements and tendencies, but<br />

which in retrospect turn out to be much more fascinating<br />

than the representative kingpins from one ‘ism’ or another.<br />

With this I do not want to make a plea for an old-fashioned, traditionalist and<br />

purely conservative art, but for loners<br />

who, aside from the nervous artificial tempo accelerations,<br />

produced and continue to produce a modern art<br />

that adamantly ignores the short-lived moment<br />

of the innovative flash and that aims first and foremost<br />

for timelessness.”<br />

Free translation from the text by poet Roland Jooris, Uit mijn Plastisch Logboek - V in Revolver<br />

141, jaargang 35/4 – maart 2009, p. 62.<br />

We chose this wonderful text by Roland Jooris as an introduction to our<br />

online catalogue of the winter exhibition <strong>2022</strong>. More than 240 pages of<br />

photographs and information, travelling through art history, showing<br />

discoveries we have made, with a special interest for the einzelgänger in art<br />

and life. Enjoy!<br />

Raf Steel & Emmy Steel

Jan Anteunis (Gent 1896 - 1973)<br />

The Dream, ca. 1926<br />

White marble on the original wooden base<br />

23 x 11,5 x 12 cm<br />

Signed at the side of the sculpture ‘Jan/Anteunis’.<br />

Bibliography: <strong>Exhibition</strong> Catalogue,<br />

Herinneringstentoonstelling van<br />

beeldhouwer Jan Anteunis naar<br />

aanleiding van 20 jaar overlijden,<br />

Deurle, Museum Leon De Smet, 1993,<br />

p. 10 (for a plaster cast)<br />

Marble sculptures by Anteunis are<br />

very rare. Especially early art deco<br />

sculptures like ‘Droom’ or ‘The<br />

Dream’ were mostly executed by<br />

the artist in patinated plaster. This<br />

sculpture sits on its original wooden<br />

base, designed by the artist.

Jan Anteunis (Gent 1896 - 1973)<br />

Dreaming, ca. 1926

Patinated plaster<br />

22 x 11,5 x 16 cm<br />

Signed and dated at the side of the<br />

sculpture ‘Jan/Anteunis 26’.<br />

Bibliography: <strong>Exhibition</strong> Catalogue,<br />

Herinneringstentoonstelling van<br />

beeldhouwer Jan Anteunis naar<br />

aanleiding van 20 jaar overlijden, Deurle,<br />

Museum Leon De Smet, 1993, p. 12 (another<br />

cast)<br />

One of the most prolific of Anteunis’ earlier<br />

casts is this elegant art deco figurine. It<br />

shows the sculptor’s preference for fusing<br />

sculpture and pedestal thus creating one<br />

sculpture. This evolution will continue well<br />

into the 1930’s and makes Anteunis one of<br />

the most original sculptors of his<br />


Albert Baertsoen (Gent 1866 - 1922)<br />

Cannon Street Bridge (Study I), 1918<br />

Oil on canvas<br />

92 x 61 cm<br />

Marked with the round ‘Atelier Albert<br />

Baertsoen’ stamp on the back of the<br />

canvas and on the back of the stretcher.<br />

Provenance:<br />

Atelier Albert Baertsoen, Galerie Georges Giroux, Bruxelles<br />

Galerie Georges Giroux, Bruxelles<br />

Private Collection, Bruxelles<br />

Vanderkindere, Brussels, 28/04/2010, lot no 65<br />

Art Market, Brussels<br />

Bibliography:<br />

Atelier Albert Baertsoen et tableaux modernes, Bruxelles, Galerie<br />

Georges Giroux, 07-08/03/1932, cat. no. 140.<br />

Vermeir R., Catalogue Raisonnée Albert Baertsoen, P.1918/02 (as’<br />

whereabouts unknown’)<br />

<strong>Exhibition</strong>s : Exposition triennale de Gand. XLIIIe exposition – Salon de 1925,<br />

Rétrospective M. Albert Baertsoen, organisée par Monsieur<br />

Eugène Dopchie avec la collaboration de Mademoiselle Lucie<br />

Jacquart, 7/06 – 2/08/1925 (according to the Vermeir<br />

catalogue raisonnée, so probably cat. No 12 or 16 ?)

During his stay in London during the First World War, Baertsoen had become<br />

intrigued by the London bridges. Contrary to his friend Emile Claus, he did not paint<br />

the hustle and bustle on the bridges and quays of the Thames, but he was drawn<br />

to the massive constructions and wooden poles protecting the bridges from<br />

damage.<br />

As is often the case with the large oil studies by Baertsoen, this work is painted<br />

much looser then its large finished counterpart. In the top left corner we even see<br />

reminiscences of the grid Baertsoen used to make his composition. The free style<br />

of painting enhances this work with a liveliness whilst it seems to be a little clearer<br />

than the large work.

Paule Bisman (Namur 1897 – 1973)<br />

Kain<br />

Patinated bronze on a green marble base<br />

Height 52,5 cm (58 cm with base)<br />

Signed on the front at the bottom of the base ‘P. Bisman’ and justified ‘11/12’<br />

Provenance: Private Collection<br />

Paule Bisman was active as a painter and as a sculptor. She studied at the Brussels<br />

Academy of Fine Arts between 1919 and 1927, with Herman Richir and Jean Delville<br />

(painting) and with sculptors Victor Rousseau and Paul Dubois. Bisman won the<br />

‘Prix de Rome’ for sculpture in 1927. After travelling extensively, she settled down in<br />

Woluwe-St-Lambert in 1930. Her sculpture is classical in nature and is recognisable<br />

for its depiction of expressive movements and sentiment. Although her best work<br />

was made before the Second World War, Bisman continued to paint and sculpt<br />

after the war. Demand for her older work continued, so the artist had limited<br />

editions cast of her most sought after models. This version of ‘Kain’ was probably<br />

cast after the war. Sculptures of Paule Bisman are to be found in the Royal<br />

collection of Belgium, in the collection of the city of Brussels and in Namur.

Jean Brusselmans (Brussel 1884 – Dilbeek 1953)<br />

Marine aux nuages gris (Marine grise), 1937<br />

Oil on canvas<br />

57,5 x 70,5 cm<br />

Signed and dated bottom right ‘Jean Brusselmans / 1937’<br />

Provenance:<br />

Tony Herbert Collection (acquired directly from the artist)<br />

Private Collection<br />

<strong>Exhibition</strong>s:<br />

1955: Charleroi, Rétrospective Jean Brusselmans, Salle<br />

de la Bourse, Cercle Royal Artistique et Littéraire, cat. no. 88.<br />

1963: Stuttgart, Belgische Künstler von der Jahrhundertwende<br />

bis zur Gegenwart: Malerie – Graphik – Plastik, Württ. Kunstverein<br />

Kunstgebäude am Schlossplatz, Stuttgart, cat. no. 35 (as ‘See<br />

mit grauen Wolken’).<br />

1963: Luxemburg, Museum for Art and History (Collection Tony<br />

Herbert), cat. no. 11.<br />

Bibliography:<br />

Delevoy R.-L.; Brys-Schatan G., Jean Brusselmans – met<br />

beschrijvende catalogus, Brussel, Laconti NV, 1972, p. 257 cat. no.<br />

436, full page illustration 44 and illustration on p. 380.<br />

This seascape is to be considered as one of the best the artist made before 1940.<br />

Brusselmans paints the North Sea on a calm, overcast day, the flat horizon divides<br />

the sea and the clouds. Echoing the breaking of the waves in thick white layers of

paint in the freely painted white clouds, Brusselmans bestows the painting with<br />

vitality, whilst preserving the calming overall atmosphere of this seascape.<br />

Painting seascapes became one of Brusselsmans’ favourite subjects. Paul<br />

Haesaerts writes in 1939:<br />

“du spectacle immuable et divers de la mer du Nord<br />

Brusselmans tire des séries de Marines, strictes et<br />

sauvages, de toutes couleurs […] l’eau s’organise en<br />

vagues […] L’air énorme est grisé d’espace. »<br />

The artist named this painting ‘Seascape with grey clouds’, one could call it<br />

his ‘Symphony in grey’. It epitomises the North Sea and is almost minimal in<br />

its constructed simplicity.

Jan Burssens (Mechelen 1925 – Nevele 2002)<br />

Composition II, 1953<br />

Mixed media on board<br />

84,5 x 68 cm<br />

Signed bottom center ‘Jan Burssens’<br />

Signed, dated and inscribed at the back ‘Jan Burssens 1953 / Veldstraat 29<br />

Mariakerke’<br />

<strong>Exhibition</strong>:<br />

15 Hedendaagse Gentse kunstenaars, Leiden, Stedelijk Museum de<br />

Lakenhal, november 1953, cat. no. 1<br />

Provenance: Tony Herbert collection (acquired directly from the artist)<br />

Private collection<br />

In 1942 Jan Burssens took lessons at the Sint-Lucas schools for a few months and<br />

met Dan Van Severen. The following year he started at the Ghent Academy, where<br />

he studied ‘Still Life’ in Hubert Malfait’s class. The artist moved into a small studio at<br />

‘Het Pand’, a derelict convent, in Onderbergen and maintained good contacts with<br />

André and Karel Geirlandt, Jan Saverys and Paul Rogghé. Due to the war situation,<br />

lessons at the Academy were very irregular and it would take until 1945 before Jan<br />

could take a few more 'Living Model' lessons with Jan Mulder.<br />

Burssens was attracted to the rapid evolution in modern art and left for the<br />

Netherlands in 1946, where he came into contact with Karel Appel and Corneille<br />

and the poets Bertus Aafjes and Gerrit Achterberg. However, his military service<br />

interrupted the Dutch intermezzo. In 1947 Corneille stayed with the Burssens family<br />

in Melle for a while, so the Dutch contacts - also with Appel, who regularly stayed in<br />

Belgium - were maintained. Meanwhile, Jan and uncle Gaston Burssens conceived

the plan to start a farm in<br />

Sint-Idesbald, but Jan left a<br />

year later on a study trip to<br />

Italy. Belgium lost a farmer<br />

but gained an artist.<br />

A stay in Duinbergen<br />

definitively opened the<br />

eyes of the young painter.<br />

Not only did he radically<br />

change his style, Burssens<br />

began experimenting<br />

mixing sand, pebbles and<br />

shells in his paint to create certain colour effects and textures. The dripping<br />

technique also made its appearance. In 1950 Burssens went to live in the<br />

Veldstraat in Mariakerke. It was his first real studio and it immediately became an<br />

attraction for many painters, poets and artists belonging to the avant-garde<br />

milieu. In his painterly evolution Burssens distanced himself from figuration in order<br />

to arrive firstly at geometrically abstract works. However the artist quickly realised<br />

that in order to grow and build a personal oeuvre, the constraints of the geometric<br />

scheme was to limited. Burssens developed his version of abstraction<br />

expressionism and started with an abstraction which focussed on the treatment of<br />

paint matter. Works from the early 1950’s show paint mixed with sand to acquire an<br />

earthy and matte finish. Abstract colour fields are juxtaposed and the artist used a<br />

plethora of painting techniques in one painting. Slowly but surely, from the middle

of the 1950’s onwards, the abstract works begin to retain their original source of<br />

figurative inspiration..<br />

This painting was one of the first works the collector Tony Herbert bought from the<br />

artist. Herbert saw in Burssens the leading figure of the new Flemish painting. He<br />

started to support the artist, which allowed Burssens to create without financial<br />

burdens. Herbert’s support and his unrelented praise for the artist was one of the<br />

reasons Burssens’ fame quickly spread into the Belgian artworld. His contributions<br />

to Documenta and both the Sao Paolo Venice Biennales made him one of the first<br />

Belgian artist who became an international star after WW II.

Vertical composition, 1956<br />

Mixed media on unalite board<br />

70 x 22,5 cm<br />

Signed and dated bottom left ‘Jan Burssens 56’<br />

Provenance: Tony Herbert collection (acquired directly from the artist)<br />

private collection<br />

This vertical composition is typical of the vertical works Burssens made between<br />

1955 and 1957. The artist started painting on narrow irregular wooden floorboards<br />

around 1954, which in turn inspired the ‘Tower’ series of 1955, and a little later the<br />

‘Knights’ or upright figures which received great international acclaim. This painting<br />

shows an almost abstract composition, leaning more towards the ‘Tower’ series.

Georges Buysse (Gent 1864 - 1916)<br />

Georges Léon Ernest Buysse was born in Ghent on 2 February 1864. His father,<br />

Augustin Buysse (1832-1920) was one of the key figures of the Ghent textile industry.<br />

In 1887 Georges married Marthe Baertsoen, the daughter of his father’s partner.<br />

Although Georges Buysse took over the management of the company from his<br />

ailing father, his main passion turned out to be painting. He was supported in his<br />

art by his brother-in-law, Albert Baertsoen, who himself started a career as a<br />

painter.<br />

Between 1880 and 1884 Georges Buysse took drawing lessons with Louis Tytgadt,<br />

director of the Ghent Academy. He was also advised by Isidore Meyers. The<br />

influence of this teacher is clearly visible in the first works the young Buysse<br />

painted, which show a fairly dark use of colour. Through Albert Baertsoen, the<br />

young artist got to know renowned and influential artists such as Emile Claus and<br />

Jean Delvin. This ‘favourable’ artistic climate and the great talent of the young<br />

painter ensured that he was quickly included in the circle of Belgian luminists. He<br />

was also good friends with the French painters Henri Le Sidaner and Henri Duhem.<br />

Buysse’s palette evolved from dark to bright and the painter started painting<br />

typical impressionist subjects.<br />

Buysse only made his debut at the age of thirty at the Paris Salon of 1894. Several<br />

international exhibitions followed: in Paris, Venice, Barcelona, Vienna, London, United<br />

States, ... The first Belgian exhibition was not held until 1900, when he was invited by<br />

Octave Maus, works showed at the salon of ‘La Libre Esthétique’ in Brussels.<br />

Around this time, Georges Buysse had to deal with a lingering illness for the first<br />

time. His good friend Emile Claus convinced him to go on holiday to the south of<br />

France. Buysse stayed there for a few months and painted some magnificent<br />

works. Eventually the pair travelled to Bordighera in northern Italy in 1899.

Back in Belgium, Buysse’s health would deteriorate over the years. Fortunately, he<br />

had his own studio and sufficient subjects to paint at his castle domain ‘Ter Vaart’,<br />

completed in 1896 after a design by Paul Hankar. He often took the passing ships as<br />

a subject or painted views from his garden.<br />

In 1903 Georges Buysse had a first retrospective in his native city. At the exhibition in<br />

the ‘Cercle Artistique et Littéraire’, the painter showed no less than sixty-seven<br />

works. The exhibition was very well received by both public and critics. People<br />

especially praised the variety of the subjects and the luminosity of the canvases. In<br />

this context, the artist was compared to Emile Claus. However, with Buysse the<br />

emphasis was placed less on the divisionist technique and more on the creation of<br />

atmosphere. Fellow artist Charles Doudelet commented on the work of Buysse:<br />

« Le beau-frère de Baertsoen, George Buysse, [...] est pourtant un artiste de<br />

Grande valeur. Il se distingue de lui, par un luminisme large, épais, chaud,<br />

par de belles taches de couleur, et semble marquer le juste milieu entre le<br />

peintre de la joie, de la réjouissance flamande [= Emile Claus] et celui de la<br />

profonde douleur [= Albert<br />

Baertsoen]. »<br />

Meanwhile Buysse’s fame as a luminist spread far beyond the national borders. He<br />

became a founding member of the artists association ‘Vie et Lumière’ along with<br />

Emile Claus, James Ensor, Edmond Verstraeten, Georges Morren, Jenny Montigny<br />

and Anna De Weert, among others. He often sent works to (inter)national salons<br />

and his works can be admired in several national and international museums. For<br />

example, works by Georges Buysse can be found in the museums of Antwerp,<br />

Brussels, Ghent and Ixelles, at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and the National Museum<br />

of Art of Catalonia in Barcelona.

With the outbreak of the First World War Buysse fled to England with Baertsoen and<br />

Claus, and stayed in London for a while. His illness worsened to such an extent that<br />

Georges decided to return to Belgium. He died on February 27, 1916, barely 52 years<br />

old. In 1922 Georges Buysse was remembered with a small retrospective at the<br />

Salon of Ghent. On the occasion of this exhibition, Karel Van De Woestijne wrote<br />

about the artist:<br />

“ ... Ook een Leie-schilder in den vollen zin van het woord, en een<br />

impressionist. Een talent met velerlei mogelijkheden, die avond en middag<br />

en morgen met even innige stemming kon bezingen, en steeds middelen<br />

aanwendde oprecht en eerlijk, zoodat zijn werk daar nu staat als een<br />

blijvend geheel, trillend-levendig van onvervalschte aandoening, maar<br />

rustig-stemmig steeds...”<br />

a Treelined road<br />

Oil on canvas<br />

54,5 x 74 cm<br />

Provenance: private collection

A road with large trees<br />

Oil on canvas<br />

75,5 x 50 cm<br />

Provenance: private collection

Treelined road with haystack on the left<br />

Oil on canvas<br />

48 x 75 cm<br />

Provenance: private collection

La Mare en Octobre<br />

Oil on canvas<br />

75,5 x 40,5 cm<br />

Signed bottom left ‘G Buysse’ and again at the back of the canvas<br />

Title in pencil on the back of the strecher<br />

Provenance: Private Collection<br />

<strong>Exhibition</strong>s : Exposition triennale de Gand. 42e exposition – Salon de 1922,<br />

Section Rétrospective – Œuvres de feu Georges Buysse, p. 125,<br />

cat no 32<br />

Especially in the 1890’s and early 1900’s Buysse painted in the countryside around<br />

his native city and was often to be found in the ‘Drongense Meersen’, where the<br />

unique landscape of brooks and willows together with marsh-like pastures<br />

provided inspiration for several paintings. These works are often vertical in<br />

composition and display daring contrasts between greens and yellows. The willow<br />

is often the main motif.

Mariekerke aan zee<br />

Oil on panel<br />

26,7 x 36 cm<br />

Inscribed at the back in large script ‘Buysse’, probably by another hand<br />

Provenance: private collection<br />

Although this work is attributed to Buysse, there are a lot of indications that he<br />

painted this work. First of all the size of the panel and the fact that it was made in<br />

mahogany is typical of the small works and studies that Buysse made throughout<br />

his short career.<br />

The view of Mariekerke (near Ostend) was very picturesque. It was made famous<br />

by James Ensor who made a large painting with the view on the village as a<br />

subject and also an etching. Albert Baertsoen made a large work and various<br />

studies of Mariekerke in 1892. The present work by Buysse was made in the 1890’s,<br />

considering its style and technique.<br />

In any case, Buysse showed a work titled ‘Mariakerke près d’Ostende’ at the 1897<br />

‘Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts’. This work is most certainly a study<br />

for the painting he showed at the Salon, and is therefore to be dated before 1897.

Henri Cassiers (Antwerpen 1858 – Brussel 1944)<br />

Mother and daughter taking a walk, Holland<br />

Watercolour and gouache on paper<br />

30 x 42,5 cm (day measure)<br />

Signed bottom left ‘H Cassiers’<br />

Well known for his posters and colour lithographs, Cassiers was also a marvellous<br />

draughtsman. He painted a lot in Zeeland (Holland), often rural settings, where he<br />

depicted every day life in the villages, painted in an impressionist style to much<br />

critical acclaim. His work is to be found in the museums of Antwerp, Brussels, Liège,<br />

Paris, etc.

Albert Claeys (Eke 1889 - Deinze 1967)<br />

Interior with woman painter<br />

Oil on canvas laid down on board<br />

33 x 39 cm<br />

Signed bottom right: ‘Claeys’<br />

An unusual subject for this painter, known for his views of the river Leie. The woman<br />

painter, here depicted in her workshop, seems to be a good acquaintance of<br />

Claeys, however it is not known to us whom this might be.

Emile Claus (Sint-Eloois-Vijve 1849 - Astene 1924)<br />

The baker’s hand<br />

Pencil or charcoal on paper<br />

26 x 18,5 cm (day measure)<br />

Signed with the monogram bottom right: ‘E. C.’<br />

During the 1870’s and 1880’s Emile Claus has steered away from painting the high<br />

society portraits by which he made a formidable name for himself. Instead Claus<br />

became much more interested in painting life and work of the ‘ordinary’ man.<br />

Realist literature and the influence of Constantin Meunier, Bastien-Lepage and<br />

other realist painters made him shift his attention to naturalistic genre painting.<br />

While at first we mostly find drawings, watercolours and small paintings with<br />

naturalist-realist subjects, it was early on, before 1885, that Claus had already<br />

started painting and exhibiting large scale works like “The Old Gardener”, “The Cock<br />

fight” and “Le Bateau qui passe”. These works would soon lead the artist to develop<br />

his own version of impressionism.<br />

This drawing is probably made around 1880, and is similar in style and finish to the<br />

drawing Claus made picturing his wife, seen from the back (see De Smet J., Emile<br />

Claus 1849-1924 – monografieën over moderne kunst, Brussel; Antwerpen,<br />

Gemeentekrediet; Pandora, 1997, p. 242, cat. No. 203) and of a working man in the<br />

collection of the Mudel (inv. No 0911/CLAU.e-40). Both drawings were signed with the<br />

same monogram but alas are equally undated.

Oscar Coddron (Gent 1881 - Deurle 1960)<br />

The river Leie in winter, 1917<br />

Oil on canvas<br />

101 x 100 cm<br />

Signed and dated bottom right ‘Coddron / 1917’<br />

Provenance: private collection<br />

Oscar Coddron was born in Ghent in 1881. He was educated at the Ghent Academy<br />

of Fine Arts, where he came into contact with Robert Aerens, Albert Servaes, Domien<br />

Ingels, Guillaume Montobio and Leon de Smet. Coddron probably made his debut<br />

in the 1904 group exhibition in the Ghent 'Cercle Artistique et Littéraire'. His fellow<br />

exhibitors included the brothers Gust and Leon De Smet, Frits Van Den Berghe,<br />

Robert Aerens and Clement De Porre.<br />

In 1907 he finished second in the competition for the "Rome Prize". In this period,<br />

Coddron's style was close to that of Emile Claus. His works can clearly be placed<br />

within luminism, but the artist gives them his own interpretation. The figure is<br />

sometimes given a prominent place. Coddron's use of colour is more modern and<br />

is closer to the early work of Van den Berghe and Gust De Smet than to the work of<br />

Claus.<br />

As a young artist, Coddron travelled to the Netherlands, Italy and France. He settled<br />

permanently in Sint-Martens-Latem around 1918.<br />

During the war, Coddron evolved towards a more expressive painting style. In 1926<br />

Oscar Coddron exhibited together with Anna De Weert and Madeleine van<br />

Thorenburg, in the Ghent 'Cercle Artistique'. Throughout the 1920s, Oscar Coddron<br />

has built up a good reputation, which was also praised outside Ghent.

Mario de Marchi wrote in 1929:<br />

“M. Coddron a une palette aux expressions très différenciées.<br />

Il aime traiter ses sujets en manière décorative et son désir<br />

de synthèse lui fait ordonner sobrement les accessories de sa<br />

composition. Tout cela est un métier soigné qui n'aura rien<br />

d'éphémère. C’est de plus un artiste très original.”<br />

Between 1937 and 1939 Oscar Coddron was appointed director of the Ghent<br />

Academy, where he himself had been a student. The second world war, however,<br />

forced him to resign. Oscar Coddron’s works are to be found in numerous private<br />

collections and are present in the collections of the museums of Tournai and<br />


Walter De Buck (Gent 1934 –2014)<br />

Composition, 1963<br />

Bronze on the original wooden base<br />

30 x 25 x 18 cm<br />

Signed and dated on the front of the wooden base<br />

“WdeBuck / 63’<br />

Provenance: private collection<br />

In his early years De Buck was drawn to the work of the New British sculptors. His<br />

work in the 1950’s and ‘60’s was mostly executed in copper. When he had the<br />

means, De Buck had some of his sculptures cast in bronze. This is such a rare and<br />

early composition from 1963. Probably cast in the lost wax technique, this work is<br />


Jan De Clerck (Oostende 1881 –1962)<br />

The friends around the table, 1913<br />

Oil on board<br />

15,2 x 29,7 cm<br />

Dated and signed bottom right ‘1913 / Jan de Clerck’<br />

And inscribed bottom right: ‘à Mr. René van Bastelaer’<br />

Provenance: collection of the Bruegel specialist René Van Bastelaer (1865-1940), a<br />

gift from the artist<br />

Private collection<br />

Jan De Clerck remains one of the most interesting post impressionist painters of his<br />

generation. Here he depicted this intimate scene in a vibrant and vivid divisionist<br />

painting. Typical for De Clerck is the use of longer strokes in stead of dots.<br />

This painting was given by the artist to René Van Bastelaer, the eminent Bruegel<br />

specialist and good friend of collector Hulin de Loo. Van Bastelaer was himself also<br />

an artist, a keen etcher and engraver and a good friend of Jakob Smits.

Xavier De Cock (Gent 1818 – Deurle 1896)<br />

A family of shepherds and their herd at the riverbank, 1845<br />

Watercolour on paper<br />

28 x 26 cm (day measure)<br />

Signed and dated bottom left ‘Xavier De Cock 1845’<br />

Bibliography:<br />

<strong>Exhibition</strong> catalogue: Retrospectieve tentoonstelling Xavier De<br />

Cock (1818-1896) – César De cock (1823-1904) – Gustave Den<br />

Duyts (1850-1897), Deinze, Museum van Deinze en Leiestreek,<br />

8/10-5/12/1988, cat. No. 2, ill. P.7 (full page)<br />

Provenance: private collection<br />

This marvellous watercolour belongs to the first works Xavier De Cock has made in<br />

France. De Cock arrived in France with his painter friend Jozef Pauwels in 1852.<br />

Together they visited Paris and discovered Barbizon.<br />

Although one does not find many watercolours by Xavier on the art market, every<br />

time one does come across one, one is struck by its quality and atmosphere.

Alfons De Cuyper (Heverlee 1887 – Gent 1896)<br />

The Grasbrug bridge in the snow<br />

Oil on canvas<br />

50,5 x 60,5 cm<br />

Signed bottom right ‘A. De Cuyper’<br />

Born in Leuven, De Cuyper lived and worked in Gent, were he also received his<br />

formation. From 1924 onwards he taught at the Gent Academy. His adoptive city<br />

was his most important subject and even in the 1930’s he was already considered<br />

as the artistic descendant of Albert Baertsoen, especially in the depicting of the city<br />

covered with snow:<br />

‘A. De Cuyper houdt van de sombere winterdagen die door de laatste<br />

jaarmaanden zoo dikwerf worden gebracht, en nog niets verraden van hetgene<br />

komen zal bij de nakende herleving. In deze richting is hij enigszins voorzetter van<br />

Den Duyts en van Baertsoen. Zijn visie is doorgaans beschouwend […] zijn<br />

winterlandschappen vormen dus een beduidend gedeelte zijner kunstuiting. Hij<br />

weet ze flink te borstelen, zonder uitslaande zwierigheid, veeleer in de stemming<br />

van den aanblik zelf; Hij dwingt zijn kleuren tot eerbied voor de rust die omgeeft,<br />

voor den weemoed die zich neerlei op menschen en voorwerpen, op gevels en<br />

waterspiegels, die van uit de grauwe hemelvout op het aardrijk komen vallen. A. De<br />

Cuyper bemint deze stille uren, en zijn liefde spreekt uit zijn taferelen”

The old port of Gent in the snow<br />

Oil on canvas<br />

100,5 x 120 cm<br />

Signed bottom right ‘A. De<br />


Herman de Fierlant (Antwerpen 1835 - Lyon 1872)<br />

La Serenata Romana, 1864<br />

Patinated bronze<br />

Height: 46 cm, base: 34 x 21 cm<br />

Signed at the side of the base ‘H. de Fierlant / Roma / 1864’<br />

Titled on the front of the base rim<br />

With foundry mark at the side of the base ‘Ste anonyme des Bronzes Bruxelles’<br />

Herman de Fierlant (also known as de Fierlandt), was formed in the workshop of<br />

sculptor Charles Henri Geerts in Leuven. His classical formation prepared him for<br />

the production of portrait busts and religious sculptures. However the young artist<br />

decided to go to Rome to further his career. Unfortunately very little is known on his<br />

stay there and we do not know when, why and for how long he has been living in<br />

Rome. His early death in Lyon might suggest that the sculptor lived abroad at that<br />

time.<br />

The present sculpture is a rare and early example of Belgian genre sculpture from<br />

the 1860’s. Its composition and finish point to an accomplished sculptor, confident<br />

in his art and trying to bring something new to the stereotype Belgian sculpture of<br />

that period.<br />

Hardly any sculptures are known to have survived to this day. The University of<br />

Leuven possesses a plaster bust, while a Christ figure is kept in the St-Michaels<br />

church and a high relief is in the collection of St-Peters church, both in Leuven.

Jean Delvin (Gent 1853 - 1922)<br />

Study for Corrida, ca. 1909<br />

Charcoal on paper<br />

21,5 x 19,5 cm (day measure)<br />

Marked with the workshop stamp ‘Atelier Delvin’ bottom right<br />

This drawing is a preliminary study for the<br />

drawing ‘Corrida’ from 1909, now in the<br />

Museum of fine Arts Ghent collection, inv. No.<br />

1921-AR, which was given by Jean Delvin to<br />

the museum.<br />

Bull fighting was one of the most important<br />

themes of Delvin’s work. It encompassed for<br />

him the struggle of life, the Eros-Thanatos<br />

principle and with all its ceremonial pump<br />

and stylised choreography suited him for<br />

making elaborate compositions in a dared<br />

colourful palette. The expression of movement and force were present in the<br />

corrida scenes, whilst the silence and static<br />

anticipation before – and the fatigue and<br />

resigning after defeat were subjects for<br />

contemplative and hieratic compositions.

Man and horse, seen from the back (study)<br />

Oil on panel<br />

41 x 36,5 cm<br />

Signed ‘J Delvin’ top right<br />

The painting shows another of Delvin’s favourite subjects: horses. The use of colour<br />

and the still reasonably flat application of paint leads us to think that this work<br />

must be painted before 1900. It could even be painted in the late 1880’s considering<br />

its parentage to the realist school. As always Delvin is a master composer, and<br />

here again he renders the horse beautifully. The use of colour is very modern and<br />

similar to the early palette of Gustave Vanaise. Both artists were founding<br />

members of ‘Les XX’.

Julius De Praetere (Gent 1879 – Basel (Zwitserland) 1947)<br />

Cruche avec fleurs<br />

Oil on canvas<br />

81,5 x 65,5 cm<br />

Signed bottom left ‘Prater’<br />

Considered as one of the founders of modern bibliophile edition, De Praetere was<br />

actually formed as a painter at the Ghent Academy. However painting became a<br />

pastime during his years as a director at the art schools of Krefeld, Zürich and<br />

Basel.<br />

In the beginning of the 1920’s, De Praetere feels the urge to start painting again. His<br />

work is typical of the 1920’s figurative style of the ‘Ecole de Paris’ and the more<br />

conservative wing of the Flemish Expressionists. Using the ‘nom de plume’ Prater, he<br />

painted still lives, flower paintings and nudes. His style is bold, with large and broad<br />

brush strokes.


Gustave De Smet (Gent 1877-Deurle 1943)<br />

Farm with haystack, 1914<br />

Gouache on paper<br />

35 x 47 cm<br />

Signed and dated bottom right ‘Gustave De Smet / 1914’<br />

Provenance: private collection, Ghent<br />

This work is sold with a certificate by Mr. Piet Boyens<br />

It is no exaggeration to state that the young Gust De Smet was greatly influenced<br />

by the teachings of Jean Delvin, director of the Ghent Academy. He encouraged his<br />

students to study modern art, without losing sight of the ‘classics’ and brought<br />

them into contact with the avant-garde art of the moment. Under his influence, De<br />

Smet quickly evolved from a symbolist towards a native impressionist style. The<br />

influence of the luminism of Emile Claus and of course of his brother Leon De Smet,<br />

led the artist to making colourful , even vivid impressionist works between 1905 and<br />

1909. After a ‘flirt’ with fauvism around 1910-12, De Smet came under the influence<br />

of the non-compromising style of painting practised by Alfons Dessenis and Albert<br />

Servaes in St-Martens-Latem. De Smet began to distance himself from<br />

Impressionism. Searching for structure, possibly under the influence of Servaes, and<br />

working with broad coloured surfaces instead of an impressionist touch, the artist<br />

unconsciously prepared his transition to expressionism, which fully developed<br />

during his exile in the Netherlands.

Jules De Sutter (Gent 1895 - Sint-Martens-Latem 1970)<br />

The girl in white, 1928<br />

Gouache on paper<br />

61 x 43 cm<br />

Signed and dated bottom left ‘Desutter / 28’<br />

Provenance: Albert Saverys<br />

Thence by descent, Art market Brussels<br />

Jules De Sutter studied at the Ghent Academy, where he later became a teacher.<br />

He was impressed by Gust De Smet and Frits Van den Berghe’s translation of the<br />

new artistic ideas originating in France and Germany, crystallizing into a powerful<br />

and highly personal expressionist style. Jules had a long standing friendship with<br />

Gust De Smet, of whom he made a beautiful portrait in 1928. At that point in time,<br />

De Sutter’s expressionist style is to be situated between the styles of Van den<br />

Berghe and De Smet.<br />

In 1925 and 1928 the Brussels "Le Centaure" gallery showed De Sutter’s work. His<br />

works are discussed by critics in particular in 1928 and he is regarded as one of the<br />

most interesting young expressionists. The daring and experimental works from this<br />

period owe tribute to De Smet and Van den Berghe, but De Sutter adds his own<br />

narrative and symbolism.<br />

Works from this period are extremely rare, to present we are only aware of a<br />

handful of paintings and works on paper from the years '25 -'28, several of which<br />

are to be found in museum collections. The work shown here belonged to the<br />

collection of painter Albert Saverys, another close friend of Jules De Sutter, and<br />

remained in family ownership until recently.

Still Life with apples<br />

Gouache on paper<br />

53 x 70 cm (day measure)<br />

Signed bottom left ‘Desutter’<br />

Provenance: private collection<br />

As often, the still life enables the artist to experiment. In this bold still life, probably<br />

made in the 1930’s, De Sutter leaves an exact rendering of reality behind in favour<br />

of a composition built with geometric forms and colour fields. This painting borders<br />

on the abstract, the apples being the only ‘realistic’ element in the painting.

Godefroid Devreese (Kortrijk 1861 – Brussels 1941)<br />

Le Pêcheur de La Panne, before 1900<br />

Patinated bronze<br />

Height 39,5 cm<br />

Signed on the back corner of the base ‘G<br />

Devreese’<br />

With foundry mark on the side of the base ‘Fonrie Nalle des Bronzes / J Petermann<br />

St Gilles Bruxelles’<br />

This sculpture by Devreese shows that like many of his contemporaries, he was<br />

sensible to the social developments of his time. As Meunier, Ensor and Léon Frédéric<br />

to name but a few, Devreese sought to depict this fisherman in a realist manner,<br />

without romanticising the harsh life of his model. The style of this sculpture is<br />

undoubtedly influenced by Meunier and is almost the opposite of the opulent art<br />

nouveau sculptures by Devreese, such as Thaïs.<br />

Devreese must have found this sculpture to be important in his oeuvre as he<br />

donated a cast to the Musée du Luxembourg in 1900. It is now kept in the collection<br />

of the Musée d’Orsay (in. no RF 3205). The cast we present here must be from<br />

about the same period as the Orsay cast, as it bears the foundry mark of<br />


Anna De Weert (Gent 1867- 1950)<br />

Anna De Weert was one of Belgium’s most important female native impressionist or<br />

luminist painters. Not only was she a very good artist, she also relentlessly defended<br />

the cause of female artists in Belgium and abroad.<br />

Often regarded as a pupil of Emile Claus, Anna De Weert only went to study with<br />

Claus for a couple of weeks during two summers. Her two uncles, Felix and Alfons<br />

Cogen, along with Armand Heins, Gustave Den Duyts and Désiré De Keghel were her<br />

true teachers in the beginning of her artistic career. The summers with Claus<br />

(between 1893 and 1895) are to be seen as master classes, where De Weert, who<br />

was already painting impressionist works, could finetune her art.<br />

De Weert was also a keen gardener, trying to keep a garden with flowers the whole<br />

year through. Flowers were always depicted in her work and the artist especially<br />

made many drawings in pencil, coloured pencil or watercolour of flowers. Most of<br />

them were made at the end of her career, as it became physically to demanding to<br />

paint in oils. De Weert made small scale coloured pencil drawings of flowers from<br />

her garden or that were given to her as a present. As studies, these drawings are<br />

almost always unsigned, but often the artist made notes next to the motif and dated<br />

the drawings .<br />

However it is very rare to find a collection of drawings form the earlier years of her<br />

career. The eldest drawing that we show here dates from 1899, we have several<br />

drawings from 1903 and one of 1917. The detail of these studies is stunning and<br />

reminds us of the plates of artist and botanist Pierre-Joseph Redouté, although they<br />

clearly show their affinity to art nouveau and luminism.

Sparaxis, Afsnee, May 1899<br />

Pencil on paper<br />

15,5 x 24 cm (day measure)<br />

Inscribed, dated and localised by the artist bottom right ‘Sparaxis / Mei 1899 / (4 /<br />

Afsnee’<br />

Provenance: Private collection

Angraecum Sesquipedale, March 1903<br />

Ink and pastel (?) on paper<br />

22,5 x 28,3 cm (day measure)<br />

Inscribed and dated by the artist bottom right ‘Angraecum Sesquipedale / Maart<br />

1903’<br />

Provenance: Private collection

Angraecum Sesquipedale, ca. March 1903<br />

Ink and pastel (?) on paper<br />

29,5 x 26,5 cm (day measure)<br />

Inscribed by the artist bottom left ‘Angraecum Sesquipedale’<br />

Provenance: Private collection

Study of orchids<br />

Pencil on paper<br />

20 x 24,5 cm (day measure)<br />

Inscribed by the artist bottom centre ‘rose un peu mauve / milieu jaune pale / tiges<br />

et [?] vert jaune très clair’’<br />

Provenance: Private collection

Study of orchids, April 1903<br />

Pencil and pastel on paper<br />

20 x 24,5 cm (day measure)<br />

Dated by the artist bottom right ‘April 1903’<br />

Provenance: Private collection

Potiron, fleur femelle, 1917<br />

Pencil on paper<br />

23 x 30 cm (day measure)<br />

Inscribed and dated by the artist bottom left ‘Potiron / fleur femelle / 1917’<br />

Provenance: Private collection

Charles Doudelet (Lille 1861 – Gent 1938)<br />

Charles Doudelet is one of the most important symbolist illustrators of his<br />

generation. The present collection of works shows the talent of the artist from his<br />

early formative years to the lesser known work he made in the 1920’s and 1930’s. We<br />

show them below chronologically.<br />

Currently a retrospective exhibition of the artist is taking place at the Musée Rops in<br />

Namur, which features one of the work that follow below: ‘The Emmaus<br />

appearance’ from 1932. This drawing, together with another drawing, are part of a<br />

large project that Doudelet envisaged around the life of Jesus Christ. A third<br />

drawing we exhibit, the baptism of Christ, belongs to a series around the life of St-<br />

John the Baptist.

Fragment du tableau ‘Les enfants de Charles 1 er d’Angletère par<br />

Van Dyck, ca. 1887<br />

Ink on paper<br />

23,5 x 16 cm (day measure)<br />

Signed and description bottom right<br />

This drawing was made during the first stay of Doudelet in Italy, and probably<br />

copied while in the Galleria Sabauda in Torino. A detailed rendering of the painting<br />

in ink is typical of the early drawings by Doudelet

Beatrijs, 1901<br />

Book, this copy numbered 56 (out of 250)<br />

29 x 23,5 cm<br />

Bound with a later hard cover, original<br />

soft covers preserved.<br />

Considered by many to be one of the<br />

most beautiful and important books<br />

made in Belgium at the turn of the<br />

century. Conceived as a medieval ‘Block<br />

book’, Doudelet made each page into a<br />

jewel of book illustration.<br />

The book was made with a text provided by Hendrik De Marez (1870-1906), one of<br />

the central figures in the revival of gothic-symbolist-mystic legends and stories at<br />

the end of the 19 th century. De Marez had a huge influence on Doudelet and the<br />

symbolist movement in Gent. Unfortunately this writer, art critic, poet and historian<br />

died very young and is now almost forgotten.

Doudelet drew the illustrations on woodblocks which were then carved by master<br />

carver Eduard Pellens from Antwerp.<br />

In total only 250 copies of this book were made. This copy has a later hard cover,<br />

but with the original soft covers preserved.

Illustrations for Douze Chansons by Maurice Maeterlinck.<br />

« J'ai lu Maeterlinck, j'ai vu son œuvre puissant; j'ai donné une forme réelle à<br />

ce qu'avait fait deviner Maeterlinck. Ai-je réussi oui ou non? Je ne veux retenir qu'un<br />

hommage rendu à mes efforts qui outrepasse tous les autres et efface les<br />

sarcasmes dont j'ai été abreuvé: le jeune littérateur lui-même s'est montré satisfait.<br />

Tout est simple dans ma manière de rendre la pensée du poète; peu ou pas de<br />

meubles dans mes intérieurs, rien d'inutile dans mes paysages. Un lit seul, une<br />

table isolée, une chaise sans compagne, une plante, un arbre, un rocher s'y<br />

trouvent. Mais c'est qu'alors ils sont nécessaires. Alors ils dominent, attirent les<br />

regards, parlent, dévoilent complètement dans toute son étendue la raison de leur<br />

présence et provoquent la sensation voulue.<br />

N'est-ce pas la méthode de Maeterlinck qui, dans l'Intruse, fait parler tous les objets<br />

et, par leur agencement, parvient à l'effet final de la pièce?<br />

La ligne de mes dessins n'est ni romane, ni gothique; elle se ressent de l'époque<br />

primitive, mais cependant est créée. Les maisons basses et profondes, les fenêtres<br />

coupées, les dalles des corridors et les détails les accessoires de ces dessins<br />

évoquent à l'esprit l'idée de l'au<br />

delà.<br />

Dans le poème, dans la<br />

chanson, Maeterlinck cherchait<br />

cette sensation, je l'ai<br />

précisée. »<br />

Charles Doudelet, 1896

‘Les trois soeurs aveugles’<br />

Coloured zincography<br />

20,5 x 26,5 cm (day measure)<br />

Signed ‘Charles Doudelet’ bottom right

‘J’ai cherché trente ans, mes sœurs’<br />

Coloured zincography<br />

29,5 x 38 cm (day measure)<br />

Signed ‘Karel Doudelet’ bottom right

‘Elle avait trois couronnes d’or’<br />

Coloured zincography<br />

22 x 28 cm (day measure)<br />

Signed ‘Charles Doudelet’ bottom right

‘Vous avez allumé les lampes’<br />

Coloured zincography<br />

22 x 28 cm (day measure)

‘Elle l’enchaîna dans une grotte’<br />

Coloured zincography<br />

22 x 28 cm (day measure)<br />

Signed ‘Charles Doudelet’ bottom right

L’Attente, before 1915<br />

Oil on prepared cardboard<br />

24 x 33 cm<br />

Signed bottom right ‘Charles Doudelet’<br />

Provenance: Collection André Vyncke (acquired directly from the artist)<br />

Private collection<br />

<strong>Exhibition</strong>s : Società Leonardo de Vinci, Firenze, 1915<br />

Sala dell'Associazione Artistica Internazionale, Roma, 1916, cat; no 40<br />

Group <strong>Exhibition</strong>, Kunst- en Letterkundige Kring, Gent, 1927<br />

The title of this work refers directly to Maurice Maeterlinck. Mr. Jan Boddaert<br />

suggests that this painting could be related to a design for a theatre setting, and<br />

according to him is to be dated earlier than its first exhibition in Italy in 1915.<br />

The work is similar to the ‘Douze Chansons’ illustrations, with the same<br />

checkerboard floors, low ceilings, and peculiar doors. As in the work of Maeterlinck,<br />

the action seems to be played out outside. Interestingly Doudelet changed the<br />

pose of the central figures lightly, as can be seen now by the ‘repentir’ halo around<br />

the figures.<br />

André Vyncke was one of the most important art dealers of his generation. He<br />

befriended Doudelet and held solo exhibitions of the artist in his gallery in 1932 and<br />


‘100 Vlaamsche spreekwoorden’<br />

In 1925 Doudelet left fascist Italy and came back to live in Gent. He immediately<br />

contacted editors to get some of his work published. He contacted Eugène De Bock<br />

from De Sikkel to edit his book on ‘100 Vlaamsche Spreekwoorden’. 100 proverbs<br />

were to be illustrated by the artist, who got most of his inspiration for the<br />

illustrations by consulting old books, sometimes from the 17 th century.<br />

Doudelet made his drawings in black and white, to try to minimise printing costs.<br />

The artist would then hand colour the prints on demand. This seems to have been<br />

problematic for the editor who wanted to make a book with colour illustrations. This<br />

was probably the reason why the book never was edited The present drawings in<br />

ink, the originals for the book project, originate from the collection of writer and art<br />

critic Jef Crick (1890-1965), a good friend of Doudelet, who often tried to help the<br />

artist financially by mediated between the artist and potential buyers of his work or<br />

trying to get state grants for Doudelet.<br />


In het land der blinden is éénoog Koning, ca. 1925<br />

Ink and pencil on paper<br />

23,5 x 17 cm<br />

Signed in pencil bottom right “K. Doudelet”<br />

With title and inscription in pencil ‘De Vlaamse Volksprenten in Beeld’<br />

Provenance: collection Jef Crick (gift from the artist), thence by descent

Veel handen maken het werk licht, ca. 1925<br />

Ink and pencil on paper, mounted on cardboard<br />

23,5 x 16 cm (cardboard)<br />

Signed in pencil bottom right “K. Doudelet”<br />

With title in pencil bottom centre<br />

Provenance: collection Jef Crick (gift from the artist), thence by descent

De Wereld springt op krukken, ca. 1925<br />

Ink and pencil on paper<br />

25 x 20,5 cm<br />

Signed in pencil bottom right “K. Doudelet”<br />

With title in pencil bottom centre. Number ‘90’ in blue pencil top right corner<br />

Provenance: collection Jef Crick (gift from the artist), thence by descent

Groote lantaarn met een Klein licht, ca. 1925<br />

Ink and pencil on paper, mounted on cardboard<br />

23 x 16,3 cm (cardboard)<br />

Signed in pencil bottom right “K. Doudelet”<br />

With title in pencil bottom centre<br />

Provenance: collection Jef Crick (gift from the artist), thence by descent

Verkeerd verstaan doet verkeerd handelen, ca. 1925<br />

Ink and pencil on paper<br />

23,2 x 16,9 cm<br />

Signed in pencil bottom right “Karel Doudelet”<br />

With title in pencil bottom right<br />

Provenance: collection Jef Crick (gift from the artist), thence by descent

Om der wille van het smeer, likt de Kat de kandeleer, ca. 1925<br />

Ink and pencil on paper, mounted on cardboard<br />

22,5 x 15,5 cm (cardboard)<br />

Signed in pencil bottom right “K. Doudelet”<br />

With title in pencil bottom left<br />

Provenance: collection Jef Crick (gift from the artist), thence by descent

Men blijft maar een jaar Kalf, maar men blijft altijd Ezel, ca. 1925<br />

Ink and pencil on paper, mounted on cardboard<br />

24 x 16,6 cm (cardboard)<br />

Signed in pencil bottom right “K. Doudelet”<br />

With title and inscription in pencil ‘De Vlaamse Volksprenten in Beeld’ bottom left<br />

and centre<br />

Provenance: collection Jef Crick (gift from the artist), thence by descent

Yzerkuis, ca. 1930<br />

Ink and pencil on paper<br />

23,5 x 17 cm<br />

Signed with the monogram in ink bottom left ‘KD’ interlaced<br />

With title in pencil at the back<br />

Provenance: collection Jef Crick (gift from the artist), thence by descent<br />

This drawing in ink belonged to Jef Crick, but is not part of the series of the ‘Flemish<br />

Proverbs’. A detailed drawing, with an overt political message, which reminds us of<br />

the early work by the artist. Could this have been a commissioned drawing?<br />

The drawing depicts the large bell ‘Nele’, also called ‘The Heart of Flanders’ which is<br />

carried towards the ‘Ijzertoren’ by skeletons pushing a cart, whilst an ecstatic crowd<br />

jubilates. The inauguration of the 1200 kgs weighing bell happened at the eleventh<br />

‘Ijzerbedevaart’ on the 24 th of August 1930. This particular pilgrimage was later<br />

named ‘de grote stormloop’ (the great stampede) as there were a lot of incidents<br />

with the police and right wing protestors. The grim atmosphere is made clearly<br />

visible in this drawing.

The Baptism of Christ, ca. 1932<br />

Pencil on paper<br />

54 x 44,5 cm (day measure)<br />

Signed bottom right

The good shepherd, 1932<br />

Ink on paper<br />

45,5 x 53 cm (day measure)<br />

Signed and dated bottom right

The Emmaus appearance, 1932<br />

Ink on paper<br />

45,5 x 54 cm (day measure)<br />

Signed and dated bottom right<br />

<strong>Exhibition</strong>:<br />

Les Portes d’Or - Charles Doudelet et le symbolisme, Namur, Musée<br />

Félicien Rops, 22/10 – 05/03/2023

Maurice Dupuis (Gent 1882 -1959)<br />

Paris, Hôtel de Rennes, avenue de Clichy, 1921<br />

Oil on panel<br />

12,2 x 19 cm<br />

Signed, localised, titled and dated at the back ‘MDupuis / Paris 1921 / Hotel de<br />

Rennes / Avenue de Clichy’ in red paint.<br />

With the round workshop stamp ‘Atelier Maurice Dupuis’ top left at the back.<br />

Provenance: atelier Maurice Dupuis<br />

Private collection, Gent<br />

Maurice Dupuis’ Parisian views are considered to be his best works. Following in the<br />

footsteps of his great example Henri Evenepoel, Dupuis went to stay in Paris during<br />

the ‘Roaring Twenties’., to study at the ‘Académie Colarossi’. It is remarkable that<br />

Dupuis did not succumb to the ‘Ecole de Paris’ style of painting like most of the<br />

young painters working in Paris at that time. Instead he studied the work of the<br />

older generations, of old masters and the first impressionists to further develop his<br />

style. We see the influence of Evenepoel in his work but also of the 17 th century<br />

Flemish painters, in his use of subdued colours and small formats.<br />

In the retrospective exhibition of the work of Dupuis at the Ghent Museum of Fine<br />

Arts in 1982, 3 views of the Avenue de Clichy, where Dupuis stayed during his<br />

Parisian stint, were shown.<br />

This work also bears the ‘Atelier Maurice Dupuis’ stamp on the back, but is<br />

unrecorded in the sales catalogue of 1960.

Fontaine<br />

A Belgian Garde-Civique, ca. 1900<br />

Patinated bronze on the original ‘Noir de Mazy’ base<br />

50,5 x 19,5 x 19,5 cm (with base)<br />

Signed on the bronze base at the left foot ‘Fontaine’<br />

With round foundry mark set Into the bottom of the marble base ‘Fabrique de<br />

Bronzes / L. Vandonck / Bruxelles’<br />

This sculpture raises more questions than it answers. Signed only with the last<br />

name of the sculptor, we can not identify him. It could be Charles Fontaine<br />

(according to Piron not the Charles from Spa (1865-1937)) or Gerard Fontaine<br />

(Geraardsbergen ° 1880). It could also be an anonymous sculptor working for the<br />

‘Fabrique de Bronzes L. Vandonck’. This company, or at least its shop, was located<br />

at 95, Rue Pachéco, Bruxelles and participated at the Brussels World <strong>Exhibition</strong> of<br />


Louis François Geens (Gent 1835 - 1906)<br />

Campagne Franco-Prussienne, 1882<br />

Oil on canvas<br />

60,5 x 50,5 cm<br />

Signed and dated bottom right ‘Louis Geens 1882’<br />

Inscribed, signed and dated at the back of the canvas.<br />

Louis Geens specialised in the depiction of military subjects, mostly from the<br />

second half of the 19 th century. A lot of his paintings had the Franco-German War of<br />

1870 as a subject. This painting is a typical example of his style, in which a thorough<br />

realism of the figures and their uniforms is striking. Geens was also an<br />

accomplished photographer and it seems likely that he used photographs to<br />

compose his paintings.

Emile Gilioli (Paris 1911 - 1977)<br />

Tête<br />

Charcoal on paper<br />

61 x 44,5 cm (day measure)<br />

Signed bottom right ‘Gilioli’<br />

Provenance: Galerie Veranneman, Brussel, inv. No 213<br />

Important private collection, bought from the above in the 1970’s<br />

De Vuyst, Lokeren<br />

Private collection, St-Martens-Latem<br />

Although Gilioli is known for his sculptures, his drawings are equally important in his<br />

oeuvre. Giglioli was a superb draughtsman and made both figurative and abstract<br />

works. In this drawing, which belongs to his famous ‘Têtes’ series, it is as though<br />

abstract line wants to cancel figuration. The lines part in every direction, having us<br />

focus on the eyes of the head and not on the face.

Jozef Horenbant (Gent 1863 - 1956)<br />

The Fish market in Bruges<br />

Oil on canvas<br />

95 x 126 cm<br />

Signed bottom right ‘J. Horenbant’<br />

The work is framed in the original frame by the firm of Leclercq, Gent<br />

Starting as a follower of Bastien-Lepage, Horenbant evolved from a realistimpressionist<br />

style towards a singular interpretation of impressionism.<br />

Instead of painting in vivid colours, the artist tried to emulate the deep tones<br />

of old master painting, whilst keeping true to impressionist painting<br />

techniques.<br />

One of his favourite subjects were the markets in Bruges (his parents were<br />

both born in Bruges). This painting shows the fish market and, although not<br />

dated, must be painted before the 1930’s. Horenbant succeeds in painting<br />

the movements of the crowd and sellers in the dim lit market stalls.

Domien Ingels (Gent 1881 – Bachte-Maria-Leerne 1946)<br />

Steigerende Hengst (Prancing Stallion), 1924<br />

Patinated bronze on the original marble base<br />

83 x 47 x 45 cm<br />

Signed on the bronze base ‘Dom Ingels’<br />

Foundry mark of ‘Fonderie / Vindevogel’ on the bronze base<br />

This cast dates from ca. 1924-1925<br />

Provenance: Van de Putte, Gentbrugge<br />

private collection (acquired from the above)<br />

Bibliography: Van Beugem Is., Domien Ingels, Tielt, Joris Lannoo, 1927, p. 58 and with an<br />

illustration of this cast<br />

Le 43e Salon Triennal à Gand 1925 in Gand Artistique, 4e année, Juin 1925, n° 6,<br />

s.p. with an illustration of this cast.<br />

<strong>Exhibition</strong>s: XLVe Exposition Salon de 1933 – XLVe Tentoonstelling Salon van 1933, Gand –<br />

Gent, Palais des Fêtes – Feestpaleis, 1933, cat. nr. 699 ‘Etalon se cabrant<br />

(bronze)’ – ‘steigerende hengst (brons)’ (this cast or another cast)<br />

43 e Exposition Triennale de Gand, Palais de Fêtes, 7/06-2/08/1925, p. 94, Cat.<br />

nr. 491 ‘Etalon se dressant’ (probably this cast)<br />

The Prancing Stallion of 1924 is one of the most impressive bronzes<br />

conceived by Domien Ingels. Whereas the earliest depictions of horses were<br />

very static, from the beginning of the 1920’s onwards Ingels tried to bring<br />

movement into his sculptures. The composition is one of the best results of<br />

the artist’s quest in this respect.

The subject depicted in this bronze presents a very suggestive image and<br />

evokes interpretations like the forces of nature who unleash their powers<br />

upon men, or reason (men) leading and dominating force or emotion<br />

(stallion). Apollo and Dionysus in a relentless struggle.<br />

Isidore Van Beugem describes this sculpture as an example of the recurring<br />

predilection for the baroque style in Flemish art:<br />

“Door-en-door Vlaamsch, krachtig, geweldig, massaal als een<br />

Rubens”<br />

and goes on to describe the sculpture itself:<br />

“Een merrie wacht ter springbalie… De paardenknechten leiden<br />

den gichtigen hengst naar de balie; ’t zotte geweld slaat op; een<br />

snok aan de leikoorden; gekets over de kasseisteenen met<br />

gensterregen, gevloek; een wild-bronstig wrenschen en als een<br />

rots verheft de kolos zich op de achterpooten. Manen schudden;<br />

spieren bollen en ontspannen; de ogen glariën; de neusranden<br />

trillen in jacht als stoompijpen; de voorpoten gaan als<br />

reuzenmokers op en neer. En twee menschen, vormend één leven<br />

met het uitgebeelde dier-leven, staan er klein, wanhopig-klein. […] ”

At the time this book was written, only two casts of this sculpture were<br />

executed in bronze. It was this cast, in a photograph taken at an unidentified<br />

exhibition of the work of Ingels, possibly at an exhibition in Antwerp in 1925,<br />

that was chosen to illustrate the model. This photograph was also used in<br />

the Gand Artistique number of June 1925, which means that our cast was<br />

executed between 1924 and June 1925. The bronze was cast at the<br />

Vindevogel foundry in Zwijnaarde and bears their mark on the base of the<br />

sculpture. The red marble base is original and helped us identify the cast as<br />

the cast illustrated in the monography on the artist of 1927.

Floris Jespers (Antwerpen 1889 – 1965)<br />

African man, 1951<br />

Watercolour on paper<br />

21 x 15 cm (day measure)<br />

Signed and dated bottom left ‘Jespers / 51’<br />

Provenance:<br />

private collection<br />

A fine watercolour from the first year Jespers went to Congo. Still embedded in the<br />

modernist language, the drawing already shows African influence in the use of<br />


Marie Antoinette Marcotte (Troyes 1867 – Paris 1929)<br />

Portrait of a farmers’ girl<br />

Oil on canvas<br />

24,5 x 22,5 cm<br />

Signed and dated bottom right ‘M.A. Marcotte’<br />

Provenance:<br />

private collection<br />

Marie-Antoinette Marcotte went to live in Antwerp when she was only three<br />

years old. She studied with Jules Lefèbvre in Paris for five months but<br />

completed het studies at the Brussels Academy between 1889-1891.<br />

Marcotte went on to follow some summer courses with Emile Claus whom<br />

she considered her master. Like Claus her work is radiant and she uses an<br />

impressionist painting technique. Known for her paintings of flowers in<br />

greenhouses, Marcotte was also an accomplished painter of figures, often<br />

girls which were painted in rural settings. Works of the artist belong to the<br />

Ghent Museum of fine Arts and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Antwerp.

George Minne (Gent 1866 – Sint-Martens-Latem 1941)<br />

Fallen Christ, ca. 1900-1910<br />

Pencil on paper<br />

12,5 x 15,5 cm (day measure)<br />

Signed lower right<br />

Provenance:<br />

Family of the artist<br />

Paul Eeckhout, Gent (acquired from the above)<br />

Private collection (by descent)<br />

During his career, George Minne envisaged several times to depict scenes from the<br />

Stations of the Cross or as it is aptly called in English the Way of Sorrows. We know<br />

he made sketches and drawings on small and large formats, dating from around<br />

1898-1900. It is not clear if the artist intended to sculpt these scenes.<br />

The small drawing we have here is undated. The precise drawing technique, the<br />

stylized movements and the signature all point to an early execution of the work,<br />

before 1914. The drawing bears some similarities with a study for a monument (cat.<br />

91 in the George Minne catalogue of 1982) which is dated 1898-1900. Also the angle<br />

of the elbow is reminiscent of the pose of the Bathing woman of 1899, while the<br />

drapery covering Christ is similar to the way the first Rodenbach monument was<br />

conceived, which was also in 1899.<br />

This drawing belonged to the personal collection of Paul Eeckhout (1917-2012),<br />

director of the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent from 1948 to 1982. Eeckhout was<br />

instrumental in recognizing the importance of George Minne for the development<br />

of European symbolism and expressionism and his international influence on the<br />

avantgarde of the beginning of the 20 th century.

Pieta, ca. 1920<br />

Charcoal on wood<br />

88 x 57 cm (irregular)<br />

Signed bottom right<br />

<strong>Exhibition</strong>: IIde Salon voor Moderne Godsdienstige Kunst, Antwerpen, 101/12/1921-<br />

03/01/1922 as “Reeks D: Christus in de armen of op de schoot van Maria<br />

– 9 tekeningen – Nr. 1 (behoort toe aan dhr. M. Speth)<br />

XIII Esposizione Internatzionale d’Arte della Città di Venezia 1922,<br />

Padiglione del Belgio, n° 74 as «Cristo sulle ginocchia della Madre<br />

(disegno su legno f) belonging to Speth<br />

Provenance:<br />

Collection Maurice Speth, Antwerp (acquired from the artist)<br />

Art market, Belgium<br />

Galerie Patrick Derom, Tefaf Maastricht, 2010<br />

Private collection, Germany (acquired from the above)<br />

Sale Grisebach, Berlin, 10/07/2020, lot n° 1680<br />

As most sculptors, George Minne was an avid draughtsman. We must not forget<br />

that the artist has initially trained to become a painter. Minne has never<br />

abandoned the two dimensional surface, and most sculptures were conceived<br />

after a lengthy designing process on paper. Furthermore, when in doubt or in<br />

periods of emotional distress, for instance when the artist was in exile in Wales<br />

during WW I, Minne has always turned to drawing as a means to expressing<br />

himself.<br />

Most drawings that survive are sketches. They are small and rarely signed by the<br />

artist. Then there are the more finished drawings on medium format, of which

some were conceived as works of art in their own right. Large drawings are rare,<br />

and were to the artist as important as his sculptures. They were often shown side<br />

by side.

Due to the fact that Minne had the tendency to work on poor quality paper – even<br />

sometimes wrapping paper – much of his body of drawings has been<br />

deteriorated, resulting in poor condition of the drawings and a substantial<br />

alteration of the viewing experience we now have of the works. As his friend and<br />

critic Georges Chabot wrote:<br />

« George Minne éprouve quelque gêne devant le papier immaculé […] il crée<br />

sur ce qui lui tombe sous la main : vieux papiers, circulaires […] »<br />

Only the drawings Minne made on Eternit plaques (these unfortunately contain<br />

asbestos) and on wood have been preserved in an almost unaltered state. But<br />

alas, these works are extremely rare.<br />

The Pieta on wood of 1920<br />

This drawing was probably shown for the first time at an exhibition on modern<br />

religious art in Antwerp. The drawings by Minne were shown in two rooms, and the<br />

38 drawings were shown in groups (A, B,C and D). This drawing, the only one<br />

belonging to Speth, was shown in the group D as n°1.<br />

A contemporary account by Eugène Joors described the drawings being executed<br />

on yellowish paper or on rough pine wood (“blokken raw wit hout”). Unfortunately<br />

the catalogue doesn’t state the media used, so it is unclear as to how many<br />

drawings were executed on wood. However if we compare it to the Biennale show<br />

in Venice about 4 months later, and which featured several drawings which were<br />

shown in Antwerp, we see that out of the 13 drawings shown, only 2 were on wood.<br />

The Minne drawings were praised for their expressivity and simplicity. Overall<br />

authors and critics talk about the conveying of feelings of pain and loss but also of<br />

hope and love. As Georges Chabot wrote in the magazine Gand Artistique in 1922:

« […] George Minne cherche de la Pieta une version qui le satisfasse. Le corps<br />

du Christ repose dans la bure de sa mère, comme dans un berceau,<br />

comme dans un linceul. L’unité des masses répond à l’unité des êtres. Le<br />

groupe passe, flotte, erre dans l’éther, comme une vision […] L’ombre de la<br />

douleur voile encore le visage de la Mater dolorosa alors que la face du<br />

Jésus repose déjà dans la lumière céleste. La majesté de la mort se trouve<br />

rendue sans horreur. Les lignes funèbres, les lignes aux lents accents, les<br />

lignes classiquement irrévocables exprimaient déjà, à elles seules, tout le<br />

sujet […] »

Chabot does not see these drawings as an expression of the Christian Faith only<br />

but as an expression of spiritual values, close to the heart of the artist.<br />

In the drawings of the 1920’s, Minne finds a mode of expression that is again<br />

relevant to the modern art movement of that period. After a period of extreme<br />

mannerism, the artist comes to a very strong and simplified language close to<br />

what we see in the expressionist drawings of Albert Servaes or Oscar Colbrandt of<br />

the same period. Through the making of these expressionist drawings, Minne<br />

enables himself to reinvent his art and so finds a new way to reinvigorate his<br />

sculptural work, culminating in new work from the 1930’s onwards.<br />

Identifying the Minne drawings is very difficult as the artist always worked in series.<br />

The Venice Biennale label at the back of this work, helps us to identify both the<br />

drawing and its possible owner.<br />

Minne showed 13 drawings at Biennale of 1922. Of those, 6 are titled “Cristo sulle<br />

ginocchia della Madre” (Christ on the knees of the Virgin Mary) and 2 titled “Pietà”.<br />

Thus our drawing has to be one of these 8. Of these drawings, according to the<br />

catalogue, only 1 is drawn on wood: number 74, from the Maurice Speth collection.<br />

However, in his article on the Venice Biennale of 1922: “L’Art Belge à Venise”, the<br />

author Arthur Laes shows a drawing of a “Pietà” by Minne on p. 7 (bottom),<br />

apparently from the Maurice Speth collection, which is not our drawing and which<br />

is drawn on paper. It is our belief that, seeing that the title of this illustrated drawing<br />

differs from the title of number 74 in the catalogue, and bearing in mind that this<br />

drawing is a charcoal on paper drawing, this has to be another drawing from the<br />

Speth collection, and that our drawing on wood is the number 74 of the Venice<br />

Biennale catalogue. Speth was also known to buy several works of one artist for his<br />

collection, and he had several drawings and sculptures by Minne, so it is very likely<br />

that he had more than one drawing of his collection on show at the Biennale.<br />

Last but not least, in reviewing the Minne participation, Arthus Laes writes an<br />

interesting comment:

« George Minne, le chef de cette école, montre une nombreuse série de<br />

Pietà et de Christ. […] Il ne traite plus que trois sujets, inlassablement : le<br />

Christ, la Pietà et la Vierge et l’Enfant, mais il en tire des chefs-d’œuvre<br />

atteignant au sublime. La forme,

le sentiment, tout est épuré, spiritualisé. C’est le pur langage de l’âme. D’un<br />

caractère plastique, sculptural, d’un style sobre et large, l’art de Minne<br />

rejoint celui des maîtres imagiers de nos cathédrales, mais plus subjectif, il<br />

est de nos temps modernes. L’ensemble de George Minne a produit chez les<br />

artistes italiens une impression profonde »<br />

The original owner of the drawing was Maurice Speth (°1887), son of Frédéric Speth.<br />

Both were chairmen of the American Petroleum Company S.A.B in Antwerp. Maurice<br />

Speth was an important collector and an important member of the ‘Kunst Van<br />

Heden’ initiative in Antwerp. He was one of the first collectors that believed in the<br />

genius of James Ensor of whom he had a large collection and who was a personal<br />

friend. Speth made a large donation to the city of Boom with monumental<br />

sculptures of Rik Wouters, George Minne and Ernest Weynants. He also supported<br />

young artists (o.a. Jos Léonard, the brothers Jepers and Paul Van Ostajien).<br />

Unfortunately Maurice Speth died with his wife in a car crash in 1938.

Still life, ca. 1945-1949<br />

Oil on canvas<br />

59 x 89 cm<br />

Numbered ‘26’ at the back of the stretcher<br />

Provenance: Vereniging voor het Museum voor Hedendaagse Kunst (gift from the<br />

artist)<br />

private collection (acquired from the above in the 1970’s)

Philippe Morel (de Boucle Saint-Denis) (Gent 1897 - 1965)<br />

Philippe Morel, now almost unknown, was a very influential Gent artist. He started<br />

painting in expressionist fashion and befriended Gustave and Leon De Smet, P-G<br />

Van Hecke and even exhibited works at the Le Centaure gallery in Brussels. After the<br />

war, Morel became intrigued with the work of Picasso and other Parisian painters<br />

like Edouard Pignon and André Fougeron. Between 1945 and 1949 Morel painted in a<br />

style close to, but different of, his Parisian colleagues. Morel clearly was dissolving<br />

figuration and was moving towards abstraction. From 1953 onwards his works<br />

became (almost) abstract.<br />

Extremely recluse, and always doubting the quality of his work, Morel never<br />

exhibited these works. He even destroyed most of his pre-abstract works, only<br />

keeping the ones that he really liked, rolled up in his studio. It is only after his death<br />

in 1965, that these works resurfaced and were put onto stretchers by the<br />

‘Vereniging voor het Museum voor Hedendaagse Kunst’ in Gent, to whom he<br />

bequeathed his whole oeuvre. The association gave most of the works to the<br />

S.M.A.K. (Museum of Contemporary Art of Gent) after holding a number of<br />

exhibitions in the 1970’s, where a few works were sold to collectors. This collection of<br />

5 works by Morel is a rarity: not only are works by Morel almost non-existent on the<br />

art market, pre-abstract works are even rarer. To be able to show 5 works side to<br />

side is really exceptional. Similar works from 1945-1949 by Morel are in the collection<br />

of the S.M.A.K. and are also unsigned. According to Karel J. Geirlandt:<br />

“Na de oorlog opteerde hij voor de kleurrijke door Picasso beïnvloede Parjise school<br />

[…] Buiten enkele vrienden herinnert zich niemand deze werken gezien te hebben,<br />

die men na zijn dood, opgerold en ongetekend teruggevonden heeft”.

The Seated woman, ca. 1945-1949<br />

Oil on canvas<br />

109,5 x 69 cm<br />

Marked with the studio stamp on the stretcher at the back<br />

Numbered ‘15’ at the back of the stretcher<br />

Provenance: Vereniging voor het Museum voor Hedendaagse Kunst (gift from the<br />

artist)<br />

private collection (acquired from the above in the 1970’s)

Abstract composition, 1965<br />

Oil on canvas<br />

Signed bottom right<br />

Dated on the back of the stretcher ‘2 - 65’ for February 1965<br />

80,5 x 95,5 cm<br />

Provenance: Jean Van Nieuwenhuyse, painter (1900-1980)<br />

Private collection

George Morren (Antwerp 1868 – Brussels 1941)<br />

Inkwell, 1895<br />

Pewter<br />

Dimensions: 10,3 x 18,6 x 12,6 cm<br />

Signed at the side ‘G Morren” and dated ‘95’.<br />

Foundry mark ‘J Petermann fondeur / Bruxelles’ at the side<br />

<strong>Exhibition</strong>:<br />

La Libre Esthétique 2me Salon, Bruxelles, 23/02-01/04/1895, (hors<br />

catalogue), sold for the amount of 125,- frcs.<br />

Provenance: Private collection<br />

Bibliography:<br />

Calabrese T., George Morren 1868-1941, Antwerpen, Pandora, s.d.<br />

(2000?), p. 63, p. 65 (ill. of a bronze cast) & p. 216 cat. rais. Nr. 39<br />

X, La Libre Esthétique, quatrième liste d’acquisitions in L’Art<br />

Moderne, Bruxelles, 24/03/1895.<br />

This art nouveau inkwell is one of the most iconic applied art creations of George<br />

Morren. A cast was first shown at the Paris Salon of 1895, where a critic compared<br />

the style of the sculpture to the work of Rodin. After admiring Morren’s work, Siegfried<br />

Bing selected the inkwell for his opening exhibition of the ‘Maison de l’Art Nouveau’ in<br />

Paris in 1896. The inkwell was also shown at exhibitions in Germany and at the famous<br />

Turin exhibition of 1902, making it one of the best documented as well as one of the<br />

earliest art nouveau creations. A bronze example belonged to the collection of writer<br />

Emile Verhaeren<br />

This pewter example is up to this day the only one that is known. We know that Morren<br />

sold a pewter cast at the La Libre Esthétique exhibition of 1895, although the inkwell<br />

was not in the catalogue, we know - thanks to the list of acquisitions on the exhibition

published in ‘l’Art Moderne’ – that a pewter cast was sold for 125,- frcs before the 24 th<br />

of March 1895. It is not unlikely that our cast is the one sold at La Libre Esthétique.<br />

In analogy with the production of the early art nouveau vases designed by Philippe<br />

Wolfers we can assume that the pewter example precedes the bronze casts. Pewter<br />

being cheaper and easier to cast than bronze. Wolfers used pewter in his 1895<br />

exhibitions where he showed new objects for the first time. The cost being lower, the<br />

risk of financial losses was smaller. Another possible reason could also be the<br />

influence of Alexandre Charpentier, known to both Wolfers and Morren, who<br />

frequently worked in pewter, and whose work was highly successful.<br />

This would also explain why the pewter cast, which we can consider as sort of a<br />

prototype, had a different (open) design for its ink recipients, while the bronze<br />

versions are closed.

Rik Poot (Vilvoorde 1924 – Jette 2006)<br />

Small bronze sculpture<br />

Bronze (in two parts)<br />

Height 15 cm, width 6 cm<br />

Signed on the sculpture ‘Poot’<br />

Provenance: private collection<br />

Throughout his career, Poot has made small bronze and silver sculptures. Rik Poot<br />

considered them to be independent works of art, not studies. They were often cast<br />

as unique sculptures, as is probably the case with this sculpture,.

Henri Puvrez (Brussel 1893 – Antwerpen 1971)<br />

Masque, 1920<br />

Polished black granite<br />

33 x 16 x 18 cm<br />

Signed and dated bottom right ‘H. Puvrez 20’<br />

Provenance: collection M. Crick, Brussels<br />

Art market Brussels<br />

Bibliography: Avermaete R., Henri Puvrez – Monographiëen over Belgische Kunst,<br />

Antwerpen, De Sikkel, 1950, p. 9 and full page illustration 8.<br />

<strong>Exhibition</strong> catalogue Art Deco Belgique 1920-1940, Ixelles, Musée d’Ixelles, 6/10-<br />

18/12/1988, p. 139 (ill) and cat. no 216 p. 250 (ill)<br />

Early works by Puvrez always surprise us by their uncompromising<br />

modernism. This example is typical of the new works the artist made in the<br />

1920’s, when he was exhibiting at Le Centaure. The ‘Mask’ is according to<br />

Robert de Bendère:<br />

“portrait d’un jeune homme de nos jours pour qui la guerre a été une<br />

étape ou une parenthèse et dont la volonté tenace est tendue<br />

comme un arc d’acier »

Puvrez preferred stone to clay, this way the sculpture slowly freed itself from<br />

the stone, making<br />

modelling a process of thought and skill.

Although this sculpture is illustrated in different books with slightly different<br />

heights, it is our belief that, when comparing the period photographs to the<br />

sculpture itself, it is the same sculpture that is always reproduced. Like most<br />

sculptures of that period, the sculpture is carved, and is probably a ‘taille<br />

directe’ and therefore most likely unique. Up to this day, no other version of<br />

‘Masque’ is known to us.

François Pycke (Gent 1890 – 1960)<br />

Opening night at the Capitole (Gent), 1920<br />

Oil on canvas<br />

77 x 97,5 cm<br />

Signed and dated bottom right’ F. Pycke 1920’<br />

François Pycke was born in Ghent in 1890 and studied at Academy of Fine Arts.<br />

Pycke went on to win the Godecharles Prize, a prestigious award for artistic<br />

talent attributed every three years. The prize enabled him to travel to the south<br />

of Europe and North Africa. The harsh light and vivid colours were a revelation<br />

to him, influencing his use of colour and contrast throughout the 1920’s. These<br />

works are close to the experiments of the fauvist painters in Brabant.<br />

Contemporary critic Robert De Smet described his art in 1922 as follows:<br />

‘Mr. Pycke {...} a rapporté du midi l’amour de la lumière aveuglante et<br />

souveraine. Ce sont des coups de soleil qu’il fixe sur la toile et il excelle à faire<br />

chanter la pierre cuite et recuite par la chaleur italienne.’<br />

Almost a year later the same critic wrote:<br />

‘Ce jeune artiste possède le mérite - rare parmi les peintres qui ont aujourd’hui<br />

moins de trente ans - de savoir faire chanter la lumière. On dit que M. F. Pycke,<br />

qui a apporté ses meilleures toiles d’Italie, s’apprête à cingler vers le Maroc. Nul<br />

doute que le ciel d’Afrique ne soit propice à celui qui semble aimer tant la<br />

vibration du soleil et la fanfare des couleurs’

Jules Raymaeckers (Brussel 1833 – Houffalize 1904)<br />

L’Aveugle d’Anseremme<br />

Oil on canvas<br />

55 x 46 cm<br />

Signed with the<br />

monogram ‘JR’ and titled<br />

‘l’aveugle d’Anseremme’<br />

bottom left<br />

Jules Raymaeckers is a painter whose work we seldom find on the art market.<br />

Born in Brussels, he enrolled at the Academy there in 1853, but by 1854 he had<br />

already quit. Probably around 1860 he went to live at Tervueren with his mother.<br />

Raymaeckers befriended Hippolyte Boulenger (whom he probably met at the<br />

Brussels Academy) and Camille Van Camp and with Joseph Coosemans they<br />

formed the nucleus of what is called the ‘School of Tervueren’. Incidentally, it was<br />

Raymaeckers who coined the term, more or less as a joke, when asked to fill in an<br />

official document for participation at the Salon in Brussels. It was ridiculed by the<br />

conservative press, but the name stuck…<br />

Raymaeckers was also one of the founding members of the ‘Société Libre des<br />

Beaux-Arts’ in 1868, which can be considered as the group who introduced realism<br />

in Belgian Art and must be seen as the first avant-garde group of artists to take a<br />

stance against Academism.<br />

Although the early works by the artist are indebted to Millet, and still somewhat<br />

romantic in style, the influence of Boulenger and the other artists of the ‘Société<br />

Libre’ quickly altered his view on painting and Raeymaeckers’ work became much<br />

more modern.

At Tervueren, Raymaeckers frequented the ‘In de Vos’ inn with his artists friends. It is<br />

therefore no wonder that we also find him at Anseremme, where the inn ‘Au Repos<br />

des Artistes’ became a summer destination for realist painters and writers from the<br />

1860’s onwards. The most well known artist to visit Anseremme regularly was<br />

Félicien Rops, but the whole ‘Ecole de Tervueren’ group spent the summer there,<br />

along with members of the ‘Société Libre’. Verhaeren, Georges Rodenbach, Léon<br />

Dommartin, Charles De Coster and Eugène Demolder, to name but a few writers,<br />

were also frequent visitors. It was in this artists’ colony that the present work was<br />

painted, most probably before 1900. Later artists deserted the village, which was no<br />

longer as picturesque due to construction of a sluice system on the Meuse. It is a<br />

credit to the quality and modernity of Raymaeckers, that his work is often mistaken<br />

for that of Félicien Rops – created at the same period and at the same place. This<br />

is also the case with the present painting. There is however no doubt about its<br />

authorship as the monogram is clearly that of Raymaeckers and not of Rops.<br />

Raymaeckers left Tervueren probably around the death of his dear friend<br />

Boulenger and went to live in Houffalize, where he bought a house in 1885. Although<br />

he kept in touch with some artist friends - Charles Van der Stappen executed his<br />

portrait in 1895 – it seems that the artist kept to himself most of time. The very small<br />

number of works that survived up to this day makes it difficult to get an idea of his<br />

oeuvre and seems to contradict the information that the artist continued to paint.<br />

Probably a lot of his works got destroyed. A large and probably early work of<br />

Raeymackers, ‘Soir dans les Ardennes’ belongs to the collection of the Musée de<br />

Liège ( given by the artist in 1888), but otherwise only a handful of works are know<br />


Leon Sarteel (Gent 1882 - 1942)<br />

Monument of the Cooperation, 1924 (reduction)<br />

Patinated plaster<br />

Height: 87 cm, diameter base 26,5 cm<br />

Signed on the front of the base ‘L. Sarteel / Gent’<br />

In 1924 Sarteel was commissioned to make a monument commemorating the E.I.C.O.S.<br />

event in the Eeuwfeest Paleis in Gent. The sculpture proved so successful that the artist was<br />

asked to make a reduction. These reductions were made without the band with text around<br />

the globe. Alas, apparently the 3,2 m large version<br />

of the sculpture was destroyed.

Michel Seuphor (Antwerpen 1901 – Paris 1999)<br />

& Willy Anthoons (Mechelen 1911 – Paris 1982)<br />

Poème-Objet La Jettature, 1964<br />

Cherry wood, taille directe<br />

79 x 23,5 x 3,5 cm<br />

Signed by both artists, bottom right ‘Anthoons Seuphor’<br />

<strong>Exhibition</strong>s: Seuphor, Haags Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag, 1977 (?), cat. nr. 129<br />

L’ART à la Lettre, Stavelot ; Liège, 1977<br />

Michel Seuphor – la traversée du siècle, Alès-en-Cevennes, musée<br />

bibliothèque Pierre-André Benoît, 23/101991-02/02/1992<br />

Will be exhibited in the retrospective Willy Anthoons at MILL (Musée<br />

Ianchelivici) at La Louvière from 27/01 to 14/05/2023.

Bibliography :<br />

M. Daloze, Willy Anthoons - l’esprit de la matière, Paris, Galerie<br />

ph. Samuel, 2012, p. 83 with illustration, cat. n°. 127.<br />

Provenance :<br />

collection Michel Seuphor, Paris<br />

In 1962, Anthoons made his first sculpture incorporating a text by Henri Chopin, a<br />

‘poème-objet’ or poem-object, ‘Les Bras ouverts’. In 1964 he decided to use a poem<br />

by his good friend Michel Seuphor and sculpted<br />

‘La Jettature’ in cherry wood. On<br />

the occasion of the exhibition ‘L'ART à la Lettre’ in Stavelot and then in Liège, the<br />

creator of the exhibition René Leonard wrote: "[Anthoons] carves in wood, with the<br />

precision of a craftsman, every letter of a poem that precisely matches the stamp<br />

of his spirituality with the sobriety of the image".<br />

The playfulness of the poem is indeed continued in the execution of the sculpture.<br />

Seuphor was very impressed by the sculpture which he bought for his own collection

Pour le plaisir, 20 avril 1973<br />

Chinese ink on paper<br />

67 x 51 cm<br />

Signed, titled and dated at the back<br />

Provenance:<br />

Collection Jan d’Haese, acquired directly from the artist.<br />

<strong>Exhibition</strong>:<br />

Seuphor : Bibliofiel Boek – Klein Ensemble, Deurle, Museum<br />

Dhondt-Dhaenens, 2/11/-18/11/1984.<br />

Bibliography: Seuphor (with catalogue raisonné), Anvers, Fonds Mercator, 1976,<br />

p. 293, n° 1973-60<br />

This drawing is a typical example of the zen-like technique Seuphor used, to make<br />

his drawings. Each trait is done by hand, and the image is made by negative, by<br />

leaving open space between the traits. As always there is an element of playfulness<br />

in the work by Seuphor.<br />

Jan D’Haese, poet, writer, gallery owner, critic, collector and artist, and Seuphor met<br />

for the first time in 1960. Both had a passion for the work of Guido Gezelle and Paul<br />

Van Ostajien. Both were poets. They continued to see each other frequently for the<br />

next 39 years. And Jan started collecting the work of his friend.<br />

He did not stop there. D’Haese became active in the organisation of shows in<br />

Belgium and as an art critic, started to write articles on Seuphor and helped reestablish<br />

the reputation of Seuphor in his home country.

André Sinet (Villennes-sur-Seine 1867 - Paris ? 1923)<br />

Ready to go out, 1897<br />

pastel on paper laid down on canvas<br />

55 x 39,5 cm<br />

Signed and dated top right ‘André Sinet / 97’<br />

On the back of the chassis: oval stamp in red ink of ‘Fr. Mommen, 37 rue de la<br />

Charité, Bruxelles’<br />

Sinet was famed for his pastel portraits of famous artists and personalities.<br />

Especially around the turn of the century, the artist depicted with ‘verve’ the Belle<br />

Epoque of Paris. This pastel portrait of an unknown woman -ready to go to a ball,<br />

literary salon or, why not, to the Folies Bergère – is a typical example of his best<br />


Vase 1

Vase 2

Jean-Baptiste Sloodts (Brussel 1843 – ?)<br />

Art Nouveau vase 1<br />

Patinated bronze<br />

41,2 x 22,5 cm<br />

Signature at the side of the vase ‘JBte. Sloodts’<br />

Marked at the side of the vase ‘Cie. Des Bronzes /<br />

Cire Perdue Oeuvre Unique / Bruxelles.’<br />

Provenance: private collection

Vase 1

An Art Nouveau vase 2<br />

Patinated bronze<br />

41,2 x 22,5 cm<br />

Signature at the side of the vase ‘JBte. Sloodts’<br />

Marked at the side of the vase ‘Cie. Des Bronzes / Cire Perdue Oeuvre Unique / Bruxelles.’<br />

Provenance: private collection<br />

Jean-Baptiste Sloodts worked his way up through the different stages at ‘La<br />

Compagnie des Bronzes’ foundry. In 1907 he was promoted to ‘Ouvrier 1ère<br />

Classe’. Classified as ‘sculpteur’, he designed vases, candlesticks and<br />

chandeliers that were edited for the foundry. Sloodts specialised in the<br />

modelling of art nouveau vases, of which some were modelled directly in<br />

wax and cast with the lost wax procedure. These pieces were thus unique,<br />

sometimes based on the same model, but always different in the execution<br />

of the decorative details, as is the case with these two vases..

Vase 2

André Taeckens (Torhout 1909 – Sijsele 1965)<br />

Torso, 1953<br />

Blue limestone<br />

Height: 53 cm, base: 20 x 13<br />

cm<br />

Signed at the side<br />

Label of the Gent Salon of 1954 on the bottom of the base<br />

Please not that this work in unique.<br />

Work by André Taeckens is extremely rare on the art market. After a local<br />

apprenticeship in Torhout, Taeckens followed lessons with Geo Verbanck at the<br />

Gent Academy in 1932-1933. Although Taeckens did not follow all courses, he came<br />

second that year after an unknown Jules Van Eeckhaute. During his career<br />

Taeckens won numerous prizes.<br />

From the 1950’s onwards, the sculptor has moved away from traditional sculpture<br />

and tried to simplify his work. In 1954 he showed the Torso at the ‘Salon de l’Art Libre’<br />

in Paris where by repute it got the ‘Prix Thorlet’, thus strengthening his will to<br />

modernise his art. The same sculpture was shown at the Gent Salon of the same<br />

year.<br />

The Torso is a ‘Taille Directe’ which means that it was made without a model,<br />

directly carved by the artist and thus unique. The proportions, material and<br />

stylisation make this work timeless. It seems to us a sculpture from a long lost<br />

civilisation.<br />

Unfortunately André Taeckens was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and was unable to<br />

work after 1962.

Philippe Vandenberg (Gent 1952 – Brussel 2009)<br />

The Grip, 1983<br />

Oil on canvas<br />

180 x 100 cm<br />

Signed and dated on the back of the canvas: ‘Philippe Vandenberghe 1983’<br />

Provenance: Private collection<br />

To be included in the forthcoming overview catalogue of the complete works of<br />

Philippe Vandenberg by the Philippe Vandenberg Foundation.<br />

This painting is part of a series of works Vandenberg painted in 1983, which he<br />

referred to as ‘De Greep’ (The Grip). It belonged to a former friend and gallery owner<br />

who exhibited his works. The painting is signed and dated at the back.<br />

It has a very strong presence, partly staged by the sheer scale of it but particularly<br />

established by the ‘skin’ of the painting, the almost relief like way of applying paint<br />

onto the canvas, which one senses almost to be thrown onto it, or at the very least<br />

painted with fierce ardour. The surface is thoroughly worked in black and white,<br />

creating the painting’s inner spatial dynamics, to be pierced by blues, reds, yellow<br />

and pink, livening the composition..

Armand Vanderlick<br />

1985)<br />

Interior with an oil lamp, ca. 1923-1928<br />

(St-Jans-Molenbeek 1897 – Gent<br />

Oil on canvas<br />

79,5 x 59,5 cm<br />

Signed bottom right ‘A. Vanderlick’<br />

This rare early work by the artist already shows his preference for the colour blue.<br />

Stylistically it shows his affinities with the Brussels group of fauvists and is technically to be<br />

compared with the early work by Henri Victor Wolvens in the use of the palette knife and<br />

thick layer of paint. However the work by Vanderlick clearly embraces colour. The palette<br />

used by Vanderlick shows blues, reds and lots of white, opposed to the expressionist works<br />

being made by Permeke, Gust De Smet or Servaes, who choose earthy, dark colours. This<br />

interior was probably painted in the 1920’s and in the neighbourhood of Brussels, possibly<br />

Zellik or St-Anna-Pede before the artist moved to St-Martens-Latem in 1929.

The sower<br />

Charcoal on paper<br />

21 x 21 cm (day measure)<br />

Signed bottom right ‘A. Vanderlick’<br />

An early drawing, showing the expressionist roots of the artist. This powerful drawing is<br />

comparable with the drawings of Permeke and Servaes.

Paul Van Gysegem (Berlare °1935)<br />

dwars ijzer sculptuur (horizontal iron sculpture), 1962<br />

Painted iron<br />

95 x 104 x 25 cm<br />

Signed on the base: ‘Paul Van Gysegem’<br />

This sculpture is unique<br />

Provenance: collection of the writer Jef Geeraerts; private collection<br />

Exhibited: Galerie Kaleidoscoop, Gent, 1963<br />

C.A.W. (?), Antwerpen, 1963<br />

Trefpunt, Gent, 1963<br />

This unique sculpture was welded by the artist himself. According to Van Gysegem,<br />

he never knows where the sculpture will take him, shaping the work in different<br />

stages and without a preliminary plan. Each work has therefore to be seen as an<br />

improvisation around a theme. The two legs suggest an anthropomorphic form,<br />

but the upper part seems to be all machine, partly due to the use of fragments of<br />

old and discarded farm utensils, collected by the artist. This juxtaposition of<br />

man/machine is central in the work of Van Gysegem.<br />

Paul Van Gysegem received his education at the Gent Academy and at the Higher<br />

Institute in Antwerpen. From 1955 to 2000 he taught sculpture at the K.A.S.K. at Gent.<br />

Van Gysegem is rightly seen as one of the most important artists of his generation.

Geo Verbanck (Gent 1881 – Aartselaar 1961)<br />

Putti holding vines and grapes<br />

Cast and patinated stone<br />

108 x 96 x 46 cm<br />

Signed on the base ‘G. Verbanck’<br />

Provenance: private collection<br />

<strong>Exhibition</strong>:<br />

Vergeten Beelden – 100 jaar Gentse Beeldhouwkunst, Gent, Galerie St-<br />

John, 28/11-28/12/1997, cat. nr. 45<br />

Geo Verbanck is undoubtably one of the most well-known sculptors of his<br />

generation. From the beginning of his career, the motif of the putto was frequently<br />

treated by the artist. The combination of putti and plants was worked out probably<br />

for the first time on a large scale in a series of decorative sculptures for the ‘Bank<br />

Van de Arbeid’ building at the Volderstraat. Architect Georges Vandevoorde was<br />

an admirer of the Austrian and German proto-art deco style. Verbanck’s sculptural<br />

groups were probably put in place around the finishing of the building in 1923. The<br />

groups are made out of three figures, putti depicting industry, commerce, shipping,<br />

science and art.

Our group of two putti holding vines and grapes is very similar in style to bank<br />

groups, so it is very possible that the sculpture was executed in the second half of<br />

the 1920’s. By repute the group was installed in a wintergarden of a large house in<br />

Ghent. The use of cast stone is not uncommon. Several sculptors used cast stone<br />

in the 1920’s and ‘30’s: Jean Canneel, Oscar Jespers, George Minne, Domien Ingels,<br />

Gustave Van der Meersche (related to Verbanck) and Verbanck himself. In a<br />

speech given before the Royal Academy for Science, Letters and Fine Arts of<br />

Belgium in 1949, Verbanck specifically mentioned the advantages of the technique,<br />

thus implying that he had ample knowledge of its use.<br />

Verbanck was a stout supporter of the use of cast stone. In this case it is a mixture<br />

of stone and a special kind of cement. For Verbanck it was a good way of limiting

the inaccuracies in the transposition of the plaster model into marble or stone, and<br />

also it was a means to work faster and more economically, since otherwise one<br />

had to rely on the skills of a praticien to execute the sculpture:<br />

“En waarom niet een plaatsje gegund aan de kunststeen, zijnde een<br />

samenstelling uit gemalen natuursteen en speciaal cement, een soort veredeld<br />

beton dus. Waarom die grote overwinnaar niet toelaten in het kunstdomein?<br />

Kunststeen benadert na lichte overwerking, het uitzicht van natuursteen; hij is even<br />

sterk weerbestand en bespaart aan de beeldhouwer de onaangename<br />

verrassingen die de natuursteen wel oplevert, zoals verdoken barsten, vlekken en<br />

holten […] De grote tijdsbesparing moet de enorme kosten verminderen, waarover<br />

de beeldhouwer terecht klaagt […] en zeer dikwijls een opdracht in de weg staan.”<br />

Large groups are very rare in the work of Geo Verbanck. They were mostly specially<br />

commissioned. Using the technique of cast stone, this group therefore could be<br />

executed several times. However, since 1997 we have not come across another<br />

cast (in any material) of this sculpture.

Geo Vindevogel (Gentbrugge 1923 – Deurle 1977)<br />

Standing nude with cloth, 1949<br />

Plaster<br />

32,2 x 8,5 x 6,2 cm<br />

Signed and dated at the side ‘Georg Vindevogel / 1949’<br />

<strong>Exhibition</strong>:<br />

Retrospectieve tentoonstelling Beeldhouwwerken Geo Vindevogel,<br />

Deurle, Museum Leon De Smet, 18/11-09/12/1979, cat. nr. 12 (a bronze cast).<br />

A typical work by Vindevogel, leaving behind the influence of the art deco<br />

sculptors of his native town, visible in his early work, and achieving a new<br />

‘classic’ language, which he will develop further in the 1950’s and ‘60’s. A rare<br />

dated plaster cast, fully signed.

Ferdinand Willaert (Gent 1861 – 1938)<br />

The woman at the window<br />

Oil on panel<br />

18,5 x 23,5 cm<br />

Signed bottom right ‘Ferd. Willaert’’<br />

Provenance: From the bequest of the daughter of the artist, Marguerite Willaert, to the<br />

Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Brussels in 1993<br />

Their Sale, Paleis voor Schone Kunsten, lot. Number 316<br />

Private collection

Philippe Wolfers (Brussel 1858 – Brussel 1929)<br />

Impéria, 1929<br />

Blue limestone on a later wooden pedestal.<br />

Height 42,5 cm, with pedestal 172,5 cm<br />

Signed on the back of the shoulder ‘Ph Wolfers’<br />

This sculpture is unique.<br />

Provenance: Philippe Wolfers<br />

Musée Philippe Wolfers, Wolfers Frères Brussels<br />

Private Collection, Brussels<br />

Exibition:<br />

Exposition des oeuvres de Philippe Wolfers – Statuaire, Anvers, Salle Plantin, 09/11-<br />

27/11/1929, cat. No. 91<br />

Un Secolo d’Arte Belga 1830-1930, Roma, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, 25/03-<br />

23/04/1933, cat. No. 18<br />

Bibliography :<br />

Adriaenssens W., Beredeneerde Catalogus van het persoonlijke oeuvre van Philippe<br />

Wolfers in De Wolfers Dynastie - van art nouveau tot art deco, Gent, Design<br />

museum Gent, 2006, p. 416, cat. No. 294

The head of ‘Impéria’ of 1929 is part of a group of monumental heads or busts,<br />

carved in stone, executed for the important 1929 exhibition in Antwerp, where<br />

Philippe Wolfers wanted to make his name as modern sculptor. Wolfers had<br />

already made a version of ‘Impéria’ in bronze in 1922, and the head was shown in<br />

the ‘Gioconda’ room in Paris in 1925. With a very rough surface, the bronze head<br />

was made in his so-called “Hellenistic” style, where the sculptor tried to emulate<br />

the surface corrosion on Greek and Roman antique bronzes, excavated from the<br />

earth or salvaged from the seas. In 1929 Philippe Wolfers sought to modernise this<br />

sculpture and conceived a classical ‘Impéria’, much more stylised than the 1922<br />

bronze. Clearly, the unique sculpture carved in Belgian blue limestone or ‘Petit<br />

granit’ was much more in tune with the aesthetics of the 1930’s art deco.<br />

Originally on a probably ‘noir de mazy’ base, the sculpture lived outside in a Brussel<br />

garden for the last 40 years. The previous owners received the sculpture as<br />

payment for their Wolfers stock papers by the Parisian firm of Chaumet at the time<br />

of their takeover of Wolfers Frères S.A. in 1975. They displayed ‘Impéria’ on their<br />

garden terrace, but without its base, apparently already missing. When acquiring<br />

the bust, we decided to mount it on its current wooden pedestal, which is<br />

contemporary to the sculpture.

Comfit dish (double Orchids dish), ca. 1899<br />

Silver.<br />

Dimensions: 42 x 16 x 9,5 cm<br />

Marked on both of the bases with the maker’s mark and alloy mark for 800/1000<br />

For a similar jardinière with three dishes see Khnopff F., Studio-Talk, p. 136 (top) in<br />

The Studio, Volume XV, 1899.<br />

This extremely rare large dish of very high quality shows not only the craftsmanship<br />

of wolfers Frères, but also the originality of the early art nouveau designs by<br />

Philippe Wolfers. Typical of these early designs is the naturalistic approach by<br />

Wolfers, where leaves are used as handles, and where the flowers are three<br />

dimensional and almost life-size cast in in silver. A dish with three compartments<br />

featured in The Studio of 1899. In the same article by the symbolist painter<br />

Ferdinand Khnopff features an art nouveau vase which is now in the collection of<br />

The Metropolitan Museum in New York.

Philippe Wolfers with the collaboration of Isidore De<br />

Rudder for Louis Wolfers, père et fils II<br />

Samovar in silver, ca. 1890-1895<br />

Technical details:<br />

Material :<br />

silver and ivory for the handles and isolators<br />

Dimensions : height 45 cm (with upright handle), width approx. 25,5 cm<br />

Height jug : 31,5 cm<br />

Dimensions base : 15 x 20,5 cm<br />

Dimensions burner :<br />

Weight (gros) :<br />

height 9 cm, length with handle 16 cm<br />

3900 gram<br />

Marks jug on the bottom of the base :<br />

Triangle with three stars (makers mark of Louis Wolfers, père et fils II)<br />

Retailers mark of jeweller Foehr,<br />

Stuttgart<br />

Alloy mark ‘800/1000’<br />

German state guarantee mark<br />

‘crescent and crown’<br />

A ‘Swann’ mark next to the handle next to the putto (French taxation mark)<br />

Marks burner :<br />

as usual unmarked, apart from the ‘Swann’ mark, struck twice<br />

on the hinge.

Marks on the base on one of the ‘branches’ :<br />

retailers mark of jeweller<br />

Foehr, Stuttgart<br />

Triangle with three stars<br />

(poinçon de maître de Louis<br />

Wolfers, père et fils II)<br />

Alloy mark for ‘800/1000’<br />

German state guarantee<br />

mark ‘crescent and crown’<br />

Provenance 1 : Vente Leys, Antwerp, 25/04/1986, lot 206<br />

Private Collection<br />

With Galerie Philippe Denys, ca. 1990 (?)<br />

Private Collection<br />

Bibliography : De Coninck-Van Gerwen G., L’Orfèvrerie flamande au XIXe siècle<br />

Bruxelles, Anvers, Gand in L’Orfèvrerie au XIXe Siècle – Actes du<br />

colloque international, Paris, Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, 12-<br />

13/12/1991, ill. 17 p. 176<br />

Nys W., Van Belle Epoque tot Art Nouveau L’orfèvrerie belge 1868-1914 –<br />

Sterckshof Studies 10, Antwerpen, Provinciaal Museum Sterckshof -<br />

Zilvercentrum, 1997, p. 229 and ill. p. 230.<br />

1<br />

For information on the provenance of the piece and the article by Mrs. De Coninck-Van Gerwen, I would like<br />

to thank Wim Nys of the DIVA Museum, who provided me with access to the documents relating to the piece in<br />

the museum library.

About this japonist samovar 2<br />

This object is part of a rare series of<br />

Japanese style objects, designed by<br />

Philippe Wolfers for the Louis Wolfers,<br />

father and son II workshop, of which he<br />

was the main designer.<br />

Several elements of this piece, including the use of imitation bamboo for the<br />

handle and spout of the jug, the imitation of basketry and the small snake<br />

supporting the burner handle, are all elements that already found on a drawing by<br />

Philippe Wolfers dated 12/15/1886.<br />

As is often the case in the conservative world of goldsmiths, the Japonist style is<br />

only slowly entering the real production of solid silver objects. First, we see small<br />

objects appear, often very close to Japanese examples, and executed between<br />

around 1885 and 1890.<br />

The fact that Philippe Wolfers played a leading role in the Wolfers firm from 1885,<br />

the success of the Japanese participation in the Antwerp World <strong>Exhibition</strong> in 1886<br />

and the demand for Japanese objects on the German and French market, resulted<br />

in the manufacture of more important Japanese style pieces from 1890.<br />

From then onwards, Philippe Wolfers began to design these objects more suited to<br />

the tastes and uses of his demanding European customers. The designs and<br />

executed pieces become larger, more inventive and distance themselves from the<br />

mere "copying" of Japanese objects.<br />

2<br />

For more information on the Wolfers firm, Philippe Wolfers and his development as a designer see<br />

Adriaenssens W. and Steel R., La Dynastie Wolfers de l'Art Nouveau à l'Art Deco, Antwerp, Pandora, 2006

As quintessentially illustrated in this samovar, a major piece in Wolfers’s work, the<br />

artist plays with imitation of different materials, executed with a sense of finish<br />

superior to normal series production. He is already trying to introduce a naturalism<br />

that prefigures the art nouveau of the years 1892-95. The introduction of the orchid<br />

as the crowning of the lid is new; this flower will become the fetish flower of Philippe<br />

Wolfers, who also cultivated orchids.<br />

Another important element is the addition of the silver putto, designed by sculptor<br />

Isidore De Rudder, friend of Philippe Wolfers, and ‘star’ collaborator of the Wolfers<br />

firm. The fame of artist De Rudder also attracted publicity for the Wolfers workshop.<br />

The studio therefore did not work with anonymous designers, but with well-known<br />

artists.<br />

The putto also refers to the Western tradition of goldsmithing from the previous<br />

century, and emphasizes the link between tradition and novelty.<br />

While the genesis of the Japonist style is to be situated around 1885, this period<br />

ends around 1893. Philippe Wolfers will take elements of the Japanese style, mix<br />

them with a new interpretation of the neo-Louis XV style and forge a new plastic

language. He would become one of the innovative artists of Art Nouveau, showing<br />

Art Nouveau objects at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris in<br />

1895 and at the opening of Samuel Bing's Art Nouveau store.<br />

Thus the Japonist period of Philippe Wolfers will cease abruptly, because of the<br />

success of the art nouveau style in Belgium, Germany and France. But the art<br />

nouveau style clearly has his roots in the important and novel japonist creations of<br />

the end of the 1880’s and the beginning of the 1890’s<br />

Concerning the hallmarks, marks and dating of the piece<br />

The piece bears the Wolfers maker's mark which was introduced in 1890. Post quem<br />

date for the execution of the piece.<br />

The mark of Föhr or Foehr, a jeweller in Stuttgart since 1801, found on the piece is<br />

interesting. Wolfers - the family was of German origin - had a good relationship<br />

with the German market and had several depots in the country. The objects<br />

supplied were often marked with the retailers mark of the German depositor. One<br />

of the stores that Wolfers had a lot of contact with was the firm of Gbr. Friedländer<br />

in Berlin. Friedländer had taken over an important manufacturer of medals,<br />

Friedeberg & Söhne in Berlin, in 1893. Friedeberg and Foehr had been since 1890 the<br />

main suppliers of the Württemberg court for decorations. It is therefore highly likely<br />

that Wolfers' contact with Foehr went through Friedländer. It is also likely that the<br />

piece passed (sold?) to Foehr around 1893. Relations between Friedländer and<br />

Foehr dissolved after 1900.<br />

The swan mark, affixed to the coin and in use in France between 1893-1970, does<br />

not provide any information on the dating of the samovar.<br />

Considering that the Japonist style at Wolfers was not commonly produced (often<br />

only on demand), and that objects that were produced were mostly small (salts,<br />

goblets, napkin rings, etc). This samovar is exceptional.<br />

Also after 1895 the japan-craze was being replaced by the fashionable art<br />

nouveau style, it is therefore very likely to date the execution of the samovar<br />

between 1890 and 1895. It is also probable that the genesis of the drawing or<br />

designing of the piece is earlier: between 1886 and 1890.

Similar objects in silver by Wolfers:<br />

Up to date this example is the only one executed that is known to us. Similar objects<br />

are to be found in the following collections:<br />

Public Collections:<br />

Design museum Gent, inv. Nr. FH/65 for a small teapot of the period 1885-1890 and<br />

inv. Nr. FH/38 1-4/4 for a ‘Maraudeur’ coffee set with putti by Isidore De Rudder<br />

DIVA, Anvers, inv. S92/24 for a samovar with the same figurine by Isidore De Rudder,<br />

and a handle in faux-bamboo. The base is also treated in a naturalistic fashion,<br />

imitating branches. This samovar is different in shape, more classical in form and<br />

smaller. This piece, bearing the seller's mark of the German firm of Goldschmidt in<br />

Cologne, is in our opinion a little later in the Wolfers production, possibly around<br />

1895-1897<br />

M.R.A.H., Brussels, inv. Nr. Ag 87 for a neo-Louis XV style silver jug with a putto by<br />

Isidore De Rudder and Ag. 148 for a silver jug "Lily of the valley" with faux bamboo<br />

handle and folded spout. The workmanship of this piece, which we know of several<br />

variations, is less good compared to the samovar, which has a lot of elements<br />

which were cast in silver and whose silver plate thickness is thicker, more solid. Also<br />

the quality of the chiselling is much higher.<br />

Private Collection, Belgium<br />

In a private collection in Belgium is a jug with a faux bamboo handle and a tray<br />

with similar imitation of basketry and an identical decoration with a salamander<br />

which was sold through our gallery.

Seau à champagne (champagne bucket) Treille sur pied,<br />

ca. 1928-1938.

Technical details:<br />

Champagne bucket:<br />

Material:<br />

silver<br />

Dimensions: height: 17,7 cm; width 22 cm (from ear to ear)<br />

Marks:<br />

the ‘Grands poinçons’ on the upper rim from right to left: ‘WF’<br />

intertwined, alloy mark 950 (/1000) and three stars in lobed triangle.<br />

The series of the three ‘Grands Poinçons’ suggests that this piece was<br />

made around 1930.<br />

Stand:<br />

Material:<br />

silver plated metal and rosewood<br />

Dimensions: height: 67 cm; width top 18,5 cm; width base 34,5 cm<br />

Marks:<br />

on the silver plated border of the base on top: the old metal mark of<br />

Wolfers Frères, an intertwined ‘WF’ in art deco lettering.

Original photograph from the Wolfers<br />

archives from 1938 and original design<br />

drawing from the Wolfers archives from<br />


Dating:<br />

The champagne bucket or wine cooler ‘Treille’ with serial number Sc 4 was<br />

designed on 6 th November 1928. The design drawing is kept at the Antwerp DIVA<br />

Museum and shows no signature by the designer. However, stylistically this design<br />

shows similarities with designs by Philippe Wolfers from the same period.; a rather<br />

cubist art deco style with neoclassic accents. We have not been able to trace any<br />

design drawing fort he stand. The drawings archives of the Wolfers firm sadly has<br />

not been completely preserved. In the photo archives of Wolfers Frères, on the<br />

contrary, in an envelope a photograph was recovered of the complete ensemble:<br />

the cooler with stand, with the inscribed date 3/06/1938. This date is a terminus<br />

ante quem.<br />

It is our opinion that, given that the pieces bear marks rarely used after 1936, and<br />

given that the design of the bucket dates from 1928, the production of the<br />

ensemble must be earlier than 1938. Stylistically the design of the stand fits into the<br />

style of Wolfers designs form the period 1928-1929. It can be compared to<br />

executions of design by Dom Martin and to Philippe Wolfers’ unique designs for<br />

electric lamps from 1929.<br />

We therefore conclude that the ensemble of the champagne bucket on stand<br />

must have been designed and executed between 1928 and 1930. The firm listed<br />

the design with the model number “Sc3” . It is however possible that the ensemble<br />

only found a buyer in 1938. After all, the 1929-1935 crisis years were difficult times for<br />

selling silverware.<br />

A unique commission?<br />

In the 30 years of actively studying the production of the silversmith Wolfers we<br />

have not come across a second example of such a champagne bucket and stand.

Given the costs in making such a piece, it is highly likely that the ensemble was<br />

made on commission or for a special exhibition. In both cases, implying that the<br />

execution was a one-off. The attribution of the model number tot the design does<br />

not automatically imply that more examples of the design were produced.<br />

In any case, the prohibitive costs of making such a design made serial production<br />

impossible.<br />

Finally, it should be pointed out that champagne buckets made by Wolfers Frères<br />

in art deco style and dating from the period, are extremely rare. Only a few different<br />

models were designed and we hardly know of any copies of those models.<br />

This ensemble could definitely be unique, unfortunately we lack the archives to<br />

prove this with 100 percent certainty..<br />

Provenance:<br />

Private collection, in the same private collection for at least two generations and<br />

possibly purchased directly from Wolfers,

Rodolphe Wytsman (Dendermonde 1860 - Linkebeek 1927)<br />

A landscape with timber, May 1882<br />

Oil on canvas<br />

31 x 48 cm<br />

Signed and dated bottom right ‘Rd Wytsman / Mai 82’<br />

Rodolphe Wytsman received his artistic formation at the Ghent Academy, where<br />

he met Theo Van Rysselberghe a.o.. After a trip to Italy with Gustave Vanaise and a<br />

brief stay in Knokke, he settled in the Brussels region.<br />

In his early works, made in Flanders, the influenced of Van Rysselberghe is visible. In<br />

this particular work we see the same browns and greens which the young Van<br />

Rysselberghe uses. Also typical is the way he draws with the back of a brush into<br />

wet paint and the realist/impressionist painting technique that both have<br />

discovered in the work of Gustave Den Duyts.

P l e a s e n o t e :<br />

The supplementary documentary photographs or documents are not for sale, unless<br />

otherwise stated.<br />

Dimensions are noted as: height x width x depth and in centimetres.<br />

Please contact us for prices.<br />

We can provide you with additional information through photographs or video chat.<br />

We can provide you with specific shipping quotes. Works can also be collected at the<br />

gallery or delivered by us at your doorstep.<br />

Upon request, we can provide a preliminary condition report, but please bear in mind that<br />

we are not professional restorers and that we cannot be held responsible for the accuracy<br />

of our assessment of the condition of a work. If needed, a professional restorer can be<br />

asked to make a condition report, however this will not be free of charge<br />

C o l o p h o n<br />

This online catalogue was made to accompany the winter exhibition <strong>2022</strong>. . All works are for<br />

sale.<br />

Text and research: Raf Steel and Emmy Steel<br />

Editing and photography:: Raf Steel and Emmy Steel<br />

Copyright: Galerie St-John, the authors and the artists.<br />

No part of this publication may be reproduced and / or published by means of print,<br />

photocopy, electronic medium or any other method (including translation) without the<br />

prior written permission of the authors.<br />

The publisher has done its utmost to request permission to all possible right holders<br />

regarding the use of (visual) material for this online publication. If we have overlooked<br />

something, please contact us. Any errors will be corrected in a subsequent issue.

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