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Willy Schlobach (1865-1951)
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Willy Schlobach (1865-1951)

Les falaises

Willy Schlobach (1865-1951)
Les falaises
signed with the monogram and dated '1907' (lower right)
oil on canvas
24 x 27 5/8 in. (61 x 70.2 cm.)
Painted in 1907
Collection J. Schroëder.
Private collection, Philadelphia.
New York, Bern'Art, Belgian Paintings, 1998 (illustrated).
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No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.

Lot Essay

Willy Schlobach was one of the founding members of Les XX, a group of young Belgian avant-garde artists who held annual exhibitions of paintings and decorative arts between 1884 and 1895. By no means uniform in their style or approach, Les XX were greatly influenced by artistic trends in France, particularly the Neo-Impressionist paintings of Seurat and Signac. It was Theo van Rysselberghe, who had lived and worked in Paris, whose knowledge and understanding of the techniques of pointillisme were to have a profound influence on the younger generation of Belgian painters. From the late 1880s, Schlobach's work found a new freedom of expression in the strict compositional rigour of the pointillist technique, in which the application of brushstrokes of pure colour creates a delicate effect of light and luminosity.

Schlobach painted several versions of this stretch of coastline. The area clearly held great fascination for the artist and appears in compositions stretching over twenty years from the late 1880s. The combination of water and light allows Schlobach free rein to experiment with atmospheric effects within a structured composition. By this time the earlier rigours of Schlobach's technique had given way to a freer interpretation of pointillisme, as demonstrated in the present work, in which larger brushstrokes combine with subtle combinations of colour to create a dazzling display of vibrancy and luminosity.

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