• Impressionist and Modern Art auction at Christies

    Sale 2828

    Impressionist and Modern Art

    17 November 2009, Amsterdam

  • Lot 64

    Frits van den Berghe (1883-1939)


    Price Realised  


    Frits van den Berghe (1883-1939)
    signed 'FvdBerghe' (lower centre)
    pencil, watercolour and gouache on paper
    62.5 x 47 cm.
    Executed circa 1925.

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    Frits van den Berghe was one of the most interesting Belgian expressionist artists of the first part of the twentieth century. He started his career at the turn of the century influenced by the Symbolist and Luminist artists who were grouped in Sint-Martens-Latem. Soon afterwards, around 1908, he wrote a manifesto together with his friend and fellow artist Gustave De Smet opposing Impressionism à la Claus. During the First World War, he lived in The Netherlands, a period of existential doubt which slowed down his pictorial activity. Nevertheless the Cubism of the French artist Henri Le Fauconnier as well the Futurist movement were a revelation for him. The magazine Das Kunstblatt, to which Gustave De Smet had subscribed, opened the door for Van den Berghe to the German Expressionist movement. On his return in 1922 the art critics and dealers P.G. van Hecke and André de Ridder were of overriding importance for his first breakthrough to the gallery Sélection and in 1926 to the gallery Le Centaure. The international allure of Le Centaure, which exhibited the works of Lhote, Leger, Arp, Klee, Foujita, Zadkine, Miro and Ernst, encouraged Van den Berghe's surrealist development. The Max Ernst exhibition at Le Centaure in 1927 had a great impact on him and from that moment on, he tried to detach himself from traditional painting. His work took a more fantastic quality in the tradition of James Ensor and Hieronymus Bosch.

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    Mr. Jozef Mees, Ghent.
    Mr. Jean Krebs, Brussels.
    Anonymous sale, Campo, Antwerp, 23 April 1968, lot 513, where acquired by the father of the present owner.

    Pre-Lot Text



    Emile Langui, Frits Van den Berghe, the man and his work, Antwerp 1968, cat.no. 174, p. 306.
    P. Boyens, Frits Van den Berghe, Antwerp 1999, cat.no. 414, p. 412.


    Antwerp, Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Un demi siècle de mécénat, 15 November 1967-7 January 1968.