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Emile Claus (1849-1924)
Emile Claus (1849-1924)

Shipping on the Thames, London

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Emile Claus (1849-1924)
Shipping on the Thames, London
signed, dated and inscribed lower right Emile Claus, 16, Londen, and signed, inscribed and dated again on the reverse 17
oil on canvas
43 x 48 cm

Lot Essay

Together with several colleague artists, Emile Claus spent the years of the Great War in London in exile. It took a while before he adjusted to the British way of life, but after some wandering in London and Cardiff, he found a studio on Norfolk street in the neighbourhood of the Thames in 1916. In this studio, overlooking London bridge, Westminster and the Embankments he would paint his famous atmospherical Thames-views. About the studio he wrote to Jean Delvin in 1918: "...j'ai ici une chambre donnant sur la Temise où j'ai bien chaud, et où je peux travailler car le spectacle vu par ma fenêtre féerique. Cela m'a été depuis trois ans d'une grande consolation." Artistically it must have been a very fertile and productive period, in which he discovered the attractions of the city, with its inpenetrable mist and rain, inspiring him to an assimilation of colour and the spirit of a big metropolis.
Looking back on this, in the first instance emotionally quite difficult period, he wrote to his painter colleague Isidore Opsomer: "Waar is den tijd dat we samen hadden in Thomas street, hoe ellendig en akelig de tijden ook waren we dorstten en moesten lachen."

To be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné on the artist's work, currently being prepared by Mr Johan De Smet.

See colour illustration
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