Private Collection, Brussels
Thence by descent to the present owner before the 1980s
Brussels, Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique & Liège, Musée de la Ville, Hommage à Paul Delvaux, 1977, no. 45 (with incorrect measurements)
New York, The Elkon Gallery, Paul Delvaux, René Magritte, 1988, no. 17, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Paris, Galerie d’Orsay, Les peintres Surréalistes: Delvaux, Ensor, Labisse, Magritte…, 1999, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Monaco, Salle d'exposition du Quai Antoine 1er, Paul Delvaux, 2001
Throughout his career, Delvaux was fascinated with the effects of light and shadow in his pictures, and his mastery at manipulating colour to this end is beautifully demonstrated in the present work. Since the mid-1940s the artist spent several months a year at the village of Saint-Idesbald on the North Sea, and the light of this coastal region certainly influenced his paintings and watercolours. Writing about his mature works, Barbara Emerson observed: ‘Paul Delvaux has since the mid-1960’s created in many ways a more insidious climate of mystery and alienation. In this light came to play an even more important role, bathing the scenes in a pale, luminous splendour’ (B. Emerson, op. cit., p. 185). In the present work, Delvaux uses the brightness of the sheet and the translucent quality of the subtly applied ink wash to achieve this luminous effect.
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