http://www.delvauxmuseum.com/. (I find the way that website works a bit annoying, but) the museum itself is lovely. I had been told it was ‘small’, so I was positively impressed with its many giant originals, inspiring quotes and fascinating history of the painter.
Often classified by art historians as a ‘Belgian Surrealist’, Mr. Delvaux himself found that interpretation of his work too narrow, formal and especially superficial. He simply wanted to create a “poetic realism“.
I’m sharing a quick snapshot of some of his exhibited work and memorable quotes (at the museum in 3 languages: Dutch, French and English), to entice you to go check it out yourself.
From Wikipedia: “The paintings Delvaux became famous for usually feature numbers of nude women who stare as if hypnotized, gesturing mysteriously, sometimes reclining incongruously in a train station or wandering through classical buildings.
Sometimes they are accompanied by skeletons, men in bowler hats, or puzzled scientists drawn from the stories of Jules Verne”
Such as these ones:
“Delvaux would repeat variations on these themes for the rest of his long life, although some departures can be noted. Among them are his paintings of 1945-47, rendered in a flattened style with distorted and forced perspective effects, and the series of crucifixions and deposition scenes enacted by skeletons, painted in the 1950s.”
“In the late 1950s he produced a number of night scenes in which trains are observed by a little girl seen from behind. These compositions contain nothing overtly surrealistic, yet the clarity of moonlit detail is hallucinatory in effect.”
“Trains had always been a subject of special interest to Delvaux, who never forgot the wonder he felt as a small child at the sight of the first electric trams in Brussels.”
Throughout the museum, quotes give insights into his life, thinking and creative process. Here’s just one I found lovely:
Like my visit to the René Magritte Museum in Brussels (see previous blogpost), I was thoroughly inspired by this man who found and followed his calling. Cheers to thát!
Afterwards, a stroll on the lovely very nearby North Sea beach…