The present lot was painted in Tiegem, where Van de Woestyne moved to in February 1912 to live close to his friend and fellow-painter Valerius de Saedeleer. The two painters met a few years earlier in Sint-Martens-Lathem and were - despite their different backgrounds and characters - a great inspiration for each other. Depicted is an impressive full-length portrait of De Saedeleer as a painter (his palette lays on the ground) in the rural surrounding of Tiegem in 1914. Van de Woestyne found inspiration in the daily life of the farmers around him, and his intentions are often moralistic and religious. His works reveal a strong influence of Pieter Breughel and other Flemish primitive masters, which is visible in the present painting. His strong social engagement is reflected in the many portraits of farmers he painted during the years 1908-1914. 'Les têtes de paysans [...], d'une grande monumentalité, elles ont une allure la fois naturaliste et expressionniste' (see: J. de Geest, Gustave van de Woestyne 1881-1947, Ghent, 1997, p. 33). It is certainly not without reason that Van de Woestyne is often considered 'l'un des portraitistes les plus brillants et les plus sensibles de son temps' (see: C. Collin, Gustave van de Woestyne, L'Art et l'esprit, Brussels 1993, p. 18). Van de Woestyne can been seen as one of the most important representative of the first symbolist generation of the School of Sint Martens-Latem and his work is influenced by the spiritualizing tendency of the symbolists George Minne and Valerius de Saedeleer, nevertheless the intensity of his psychological portraits announces already the expressionism that became visible in the second generation. After the outbreak of the war, the families of Van de Woestijne and De Saedeleer flew on 23 October 1914 to The Netherlands and left their homes in Tiegem.