- Lady with a candle
Paul DELVAUX 1897 - 1994
Paul Delvaux was born on 23 September 1897 in Antheit, near Huy, in Belgium
He was born into a privileged and intellectual environment, the son of a lawyer at the Brussels Court of Appeal.
The family moved to rue d’Ecosse in Brussels. Paul then attended Saint-Gilles primary school, where he saw his first human skeletons exhibited in display cabinets at the school.
An avid reader with an enquiring mind, Paul devoured Jules Verne’s “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” and “Around the World in 80 Days”.
Paul enrolled at the architecture school of the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, but found mathematics a difficult hurdle to overcome. Thanks to his friendship with the painter Franz Courtens, he enrolled once again at the Academie Royale in Brussels, this time in the Decorative Arts section, managed by the famous Symbolist painter Constant Montald.
Paul attended classes taught by Jean Delville as well as by painters who worked in the open air at the Rouge-Cloitre. In 1921, he met Anne-Marie de Martelaere, known as Tam.
Paul’s first exhibition was at the famous Georges Giroux art gallery (GGG), together with prestigious contemporaries such as Flouquet and Magritte.
His taste for Expressionist art and the Nervia movement became apparent in certain works, while at this time he also met Robert Giron, future Director of the Palais des Beaux-Arts of Brussels, who became a valuable and loyal friend.
Expressionism was the key influence in the Belgian artistic world, as Ensor
and Permeke exhibited in Brussels. The impressive power of the Flemish painter, and a new discovery of the imaginary and fanciful world of the painter from Ostend.
The social-economic context in the years after the First World War was very turbulent. The pointlessness of the conflict left gaping wounds and highlighted the limits of Western systems. Europe was changing at a rapid pace, and the artistic world was no exception.
Cubism and Abstraction shook established foundations. The Expressionists clung to their earthly and traditional values, while the newcomers sought out new paths.
André Breton and the Surrealist Manifesto of 1924 shook the artistic world.
Many artists went to Paris, which had become the world capital of art.
Paul Delvaux discovered the works of Magritte, this imaginary world surprised him but it was not a true shock. Delvaux’s exploration of Surrealism was more progressive, intensified by various meetings or events.
Death of his mother and solo exhibition at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels.
Marriage to Suzanne Purnal.
Paul Delvaux took part in the International Surrealist Exhibition organised by André Breton and Paul Eluard in Paris.
Paul discovered Italy and made many visits to the museum of natural science, with skeletons becoming a prominent theme in his work.
First film devoted to the artist: “Le monde de Paul Delvaux”, which won a prize at the Venice Festival.
Now a very well-known figure, Paul Delvaux was appointed Professor at the Academie de la Cambre in Brussels.Trams, trains and stations featured increasingly in his work, while a visit to Greece in 1956 provided a new source of inspiration and mystery.
Exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.
The artist rediscovered the charms of the Belgian coast and spent part of each year living in Saint-Idesbald. He exhibited at the Grand-Palais in Paris, in Rotterdam and in Tokyo.
A tribute was organised for him at the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts in Brussels.
Paul Delvaux created his foundation and opened his own museum in Saint-Idesbald in 1982.
The artist died on 20 July in Furnes.
Paul Delvaux - La Poésie du Silence
Thursday, 17 November 2016 - Thursday, 22 December 2016
Rue Ernest Allard 31