Léon Spilliaert (1881-1946) La Coupe bleue, 1907, Lavis d’encre de Chine, aquarelle et crayon de couleur sur papier 48 x 63 cm Inv. SM000058, Collection Mu.ZEE, Oostende © Mu.ZEE, Dominique Provost, 2019

Léon Spilliaert (1881-1946). Light and Solitude

Oct 13, 2020 - Jan 10, 2021

Featuring some 90 works, the exhibition provides a rare opportunity to view the intriguing and often mysterious work of angst-ridden Belgium artist Léon Spilliaert (1881–1946). Interested in metaphysical questions and steeped in Flemish culture, his art is characterized by dramatic perspectives and a quiet luminescence. His visual explorations of the self and potent images of solitude and melancholy align Spilliaert with Nordic artists Edvard Munch and Vilhelm Hammershøi and writers Émile Verhaeren and Maurice Maeterlinck.

The exhibition – the first in France in nearly forty years – focuses on his most intense years of creation, from 1900 to 1919, and shows how his career developed apart from the movements of Symbolism, Expressionism, and Surrealism, leaving an indelible mark on Belgian art of the first half of the 20th-century.


Leïla Jarbouai, Graphic arts Curator at the Musée d’Orsay
Anne Adriaens-Pannier, Scientific Attachée at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

Exhibition organized by the Musée d’Orsay and the Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris, and the Royal Academy, London
Exhibition presented at the Royal Academy from February 19 to September 12, 2020

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