Emile Claus

(1849-1924)

Decline of the day

Circa 1905
Oil on canvas
64.5 x 93 cm (25³/₈ x 36⁵/₈ inches)
Signed lower right: Emile Claus
Signed on reverse: Emile Claus

Signed lower right: Emile Claus

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Literature
- De Smet, J., Emile Claus, exh. cat. (Oostende: PMMK, 1997).
- De Smet, Sint-Martens-Latem en de Kunst aan de Leie (1870-1970) (Tielt: Lannoo, 2000), 62-77.
- De Smet, J., Emile Claus en het landleven, exh. cat. (Gent: MSK, 2009).
- Pauwels, P.J.H., Als een fonkelenden spiegel (Sint-Martens-Latem: Galerie Oscar De Vos, 2009), 119 (ill.).
- Lemonnier, C., Emile Claus (Bruxelles: G. Van Oest & Cie, 1908).
- Vanzype, G., "Notice sur Emile Claus," in: Annuaire de l'Académie royale des sciences des lettres et des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, no. 95 (Bruxelles: Hayez, 1924).
- Sauton, A., Un Prince du Luminisme Emile Claus (Bruxelles: J. Lebègue & Cie, 1946).
Provenance
- Private collection, Astene
Description
Around 1900 the hesitant luminism of Emile Claus from his early years came to full development. The pure landscape is now gaining more power, in works in which the subtle sense of nature of the artist is given the upper hand. Parallel to these landscape impressions, he starts to pay less and less attention to the figuration that disappears somewhat into the background. The artist creates depth through the almost rhythmic succession of the trees and the atmospheric perspective. His painting method is differentiated and the brush strokes swirl, causing the landscape to sway slightly. In this evening landscape, the viewer is attracted by the figures in the foreground, but ultimately all attention is focused on the light effect of a setting sun, which places its evening glow over nature. You can still feel the scorching summer heat of the late afternoon in the setting sun. Peace has come over the land, the silent figures and the cattle are reminders of the country life of the past day. With the Koewachtertjes at sunset from the golden years of the painter, he surpasses the freedom of the invoice and the fairy-like evening light is convincingly suggested.
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Decline of the day