"Lights of Flanders: Images of a Beautiful Belgian Village" Exhibition

Bunkamura Museum of Art

poster for "Lights of Flanders: Images of a Beautiful Belgian Village" Exhibition

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Around the middle of the 19th century, painters all over Europe increasingly left the noise and clamor of the big cities and settled in artists’ colonies in the countryside, where they could put their visions of the landscape and the farmers’ lives straight onto the canvas outside. In Belgium, artists from Flemish cities flocked to the rural village of Sint-Martens-Latem near Ghent. This phenomenon would give rise to an independent art school of exceptionally high quality. As in similar colonies elsewhere, the artists in this village were not primarily interested in expressing some hard-and-fast sort of ideology, but rather in creating close ties among themselves and in communicating closely with the lush nature and the farmers of the area, so they might express the peaceful soul of this area through their paintings. Their works present the countryside and people of Flanders from a unique vantage point, but more than that, they are filled with a sense of time that seems to flow more leisurely than ours. It is especially this latter quality that captures the viewer’s heart and fills it with peace.

[Image: Emile Claus, "Haymaker" (1896) Oil on Canvas, Private collection]

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From 2010-09-04 To 2010-10-24

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