By Anne Adriaens-Pannier, Honorary Curator at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. Artistic Director of Het Spilliaert Huis, Ostend
Léon Spilliaert (Ostend 1881-1946 Brussels) first revealed his talent as a self-taught draughtsman who worked with Chinese ink and pencil and who initially adhered to the Symbolist movement. The young artist’s interest in literature is well known, and he poured over the work of Frédéric Nietzsche, Emile Verhaeren, Maurice Maeterlinck, not to mention classical texts by Ovid and Virgil. His career as an artist then developed apart from movements like Abstraction and Expressionism, as he began to experiment with cardboard, canvas, watercolour, gouache and oil paint. As a precursor of Surrealism, his works are mysterious, inspired by a reality he spiritually transcends.
Languages: FR & NL
Léon Spillaert, Buveuse d'absinthe, 1907, FRB KBS 06.05.2015