Gustave van de Woestyne

Born 1881 . Died 1947.
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Gustave van de Woestyne Biography

In 1900, after art studies in his native city of Ghent, Gustave Van de Woestyne (1881-1947) settled in Sint-Martens-Latem, on the banks of the Leie river, where an artistic colony of poets, painters and sculptors had formed in search of an innovative and meaningful artistic expression. His admiration for the technique and spirituality of the Flemish old masters led him to develop an art of mystic-religious symbolism and allegory. He also drew inspiration from the Italian Primitives, Maurice Denis and fresco painting and became one of the figures of the "First School of Larthem". After the First World War, in contact with modern art, he evolved towards a more complex style that was highly personal and somewhat disconcerting. At the same time, he practiced painting in a neorealist style where he also integrated modern trends. This parallel evolution shows the great degree to which he was receptive to the innovations of international art and corresponds to his frequent visits to Paris in the early 1920s. One of Van de Woestyne's trademarks is to be found in the eyes of his subjects whose gaze is immense and piercing. Among the main themes of his work one finds portraits and self-portraits, figures of peasants whom he presents as models of modesty and humility, religious scenes, intimate personal scenes and still lifes.

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