Rik Wouters (1882-1916)
Rik Wouters (1882-1916)


Rik Wouters (1882-1916)
inscribed with authentification and titled ‘Je certifie que ce tableau est de la main de Rik Wouters Mme. Vve Rik Wouters 'Chrysanthèmes'’ (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
69 x 90.5 cm.
Painted in 1915
Galerie Georges Giroux, Brussels.
Acquired from the above by Baron Anthanase de Broqueville, 1923.
Anonymous sale, Galerie Georges Giroux, Brussels, 3 May 1937, lot 220.
Anonymous sale, Galerie Georges Giroux, Brussels, 13 November 1937, lot 352.
Baron Lambert, Brussels.
Kunsthandel Rob Noortman, Maastricht.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2006.
L. Haesaerts, P. Haesaerts, Flandre essai sur l'art flamand depuis 1880, Paris, 1931, p. 512 (illustrated).
N. Wouters, 'La vie douloureuse et ensoleillée de Rik', in: Les Beaux-Arts, Brussels, 22 November 1935, no. 180, p. 15.
A. Vennema, De ballingen, Baarn, 1979, p. 38 (illustrated).
R. Avermaete, Rik Wouters, Brussels, 1986, p. 211 (illustrated p. 149).
O. Bertrand, Rik Wouters, Les peintures/De schilderijen, Antwerp, 1995, p. 241.
Brussels, Galerie Georges Giroux, Rik Wouters, 1 - 15 April 1922, no. 59.
Antwerp, Stadsfeestzaal, L'Art contemporain salon, 29 April - 28 May 1922, no. 144.
Paris, Grand-Palais, Société du salon d'automne, 1 November - 16 December 1923, no. 2396.
Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Exposition centennale de l'art belge 1830-1930 : un siècle d'art, 17 May - 1 November 1930, no. 494.
Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Rik Wouters, 16 November - 15 december 1935, no. 111.
Antwerp, Paleis voor Schone Kunsten, Retrospective Rik Wouters, 7 July - 15 September 1957, no. 97.
Paris, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Rik Wouters, October - November 1957, no. 46.
Ostend, Provinciaal Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Rik Wouters, retrospectief, 2 July - 29 September 1994, no. 67.

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Lisa Snijders
Lisa Snijders

Lot Essay

With the use of silver-grey and pink pearlescent shades combined with contrasting bright red and orange colours, Rik Wouters shows us his interest in contrast and composition. The present lot shows chrysanthemums in a vase on a balcony, demonstrating the artist's talent for combining the three-dimensional with the two-dimensional surface of the painting, using broad brushstrokes and a somewhat thicker layer of paint.

While Wouters had a great admiration for the work of James Ensor, his work is also unthinkable without the influence of Paul Cézanne (1839-1906). The analytical view of Cézanne and his way of looking for a balance between colour and impressions of light on the one hand and the display of form on the other can be seen in many of Wouters' works. Influenced by Cézanne, he developed an individual style of painting, which preserves the mean between impressionism and expressionism, or perhaps best described as post-impressionist, later adopted as Brabants Fauvism.

At the beginning of his painter career in 1896 the artist did not seem to escape the academicism of his education at first. Until 1901 he confined himself mainly to portraits. This would change within a few years with his search for a better representation of light in which he developed a preference for interiors and still lifes; mostly painted with a painters’ knife (spatula), showing an abundant use of colour. By abandoning the use of the spatula in 1911, Wouters changed his style in order to obtain more transparency with diluted paint and the use of absorbing canvases.

Unfortunately, the period from 1914 until 1916 was marked by war, exile and illness. Wouters and his wife Nel were residing in Amsterdam at that time, and even though the artist's health was deteriorating quickly, he regained his will to paint. Executed in 1915, this work still testifies the visual experience of light and brightness. In 1916 Rik Wouters died at a young age.

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