The Belgian artist, George Morren would become one of the pioneers of the avant-garde in Antwerp during the late Nineteenth Century. Born into an affluent, bourgeois Belgian family, his financial security allowed him the luxury of an artistic career, and his nascent talent was encouraged by his family and his early mentor, the artist Emile Claus. A pupil of the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp by the age of twenty, he soon turned his back on its stifling conservatism, and sought artistic inspiration in Antwerp, Brussels and Paris. His two-year sojourn in the latter city, where he frequented the ateliers of Puvis de Chavannes and Eugène Carrière and contemporary exhibitions such Le Salon des Indépendantes, proved highly liberating for the young artist.
The luminous Les Perches à haricots dates from May and June 1892, just a few months after his return to Antwerp, and coincides with the first public exhibition of his work at L'Association pour l'Art, co-founded by van de Velde and Max Elskamp. This period marked a crucial turning point in Morren's artistic career, as he began to fuse several of the prevailing stylistic and conceptual influences, evident in Les Perches à haricots. His fascination with pointillisme inspired by the paintings and theories of the Neo-Impressionists such as Signac and the recently-deceased Seurat, is apparent in several highly-worked areas of intricate shading, with complex colour effects being achieved through the juxtaposition of tiny areas of intense colour. However he adopts a less strict adherence to this technique, with areas of strong, vigorous brushwork showing the artist embrace the spontaneity and direct expressionism of Vincent van Gogh, another artist who had died only recently.
Morren's desire to capture the ephemeral luminosity of a summer's day in Les Perches à haricots resonates with Impressionist practices. His translation onto the canvas of the shimmering light effects on this rural Belgian scene shares much in common with Pissarro's landscapes. Les Perches à haricots centres on the gently stooping figure of a peasant woman in a clearing, tending beanpoles, the sloping diagonals of which guide the viewer's eye upwards. Morren's intense interest in composition, in form and in line creates an overall pictorial atmosphere of harmony.