Frits Van den Berghe


Hellish ride

Oil on canvas
59 x 47.5 cm (23¹/₄ x 18³/₄ inches)
Framed: 81,5 x 71 cm
Signed lower left: FVBerghe

Signed lower left: FVBerghe

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Kunst van Heden. Catalogus Frits Van den Berghe - Gust. De Smet, exh. cat. (Antwerpen: J.-E. Buschmann/ Kunst van Heden, 1930), no. 11.
- Langui, E., Tentoonstelling Frits Van den Berghe, cat. (Gent: Kunst- en Letterenkring, 1948), no. 37.
- Matarazzo Sorrinno, Francisco & Sergio Milliet, 3a Bienal de Sao Paulo. Catalogo General (Sao Paulo: Ediam, 1955), p. 81, no. 64.
- De Ridder, A., E. Langui, P.-G. Van Hecke & J. van Lerberghe, Frits Van den Berghe (Bruxelles: Ed. de la Connaissance, 1957), p. 16, 35, no. 56 (ill.).
- Langui, E., Frits Van den Berghe. Catalogue raisonné de son oeuvre peint (Bruxelles: Laconti, 1966), no. 302 (ill.).
- Langui, E., Frits Van den Berghe 1883-1939. De mens en zijn werk (Antwerpen: Mercatorfonds, 1968), p. 310, no. 302 (ill.).
- Milo, J., Vie et Survie du Centaure (Bruxelles: Editions Nationales d'Art, 1980), p. 108, no. 96.
- Boyens, P., Frits Van den Berghe. Monografie (Gent: SD&Z/Pandora, 1999), p. 285, 311, 442, no. 627 (ill.).
- Boyens, P., Sint-Martens-Latem. Kunstenaarsdorp in Vlaanderen (Tielt/ Sint-Martens-Latem: Lannoo/ Art Book Company, 1992), p. 526 (ill.).
- Boyens, P. & G. Marquenie, Frits Van den Berghe, cat. (Oostende: PMMK, 1999), p. 164, 233, no. 135 (ill.).
- De Smet, J., Sint-Martens-Latem en de Kunst aan de Leie 1870-1970 (Tielt/ Sint-Martens-Latem: Lannoo/ Art Book Company, 2000), p. 210 (ill.).
- 1930, Antwerp, Paviljoen van de Wereldtentoonstelling, Tentoonstelling F. Van den Berghe en G. De Smet (Kunst van Heden), 28.06-10.07.1930, no. 11.
- 1948, Ghent, Koninklijke Kunst- en Letterkring, Frits Van den Berghe, 01-14.05.1948, no. 37.
- 1954, Maastricht, Bonnefantenmuseum, Frits Van den Berghe, 07-29.08.1954, no. 28.
- 1954, Hasselt, Zaal onder de Toren, Frits Van den Berghe, 04-20.09.1954, no. 23.
- 1954, Tilburg, Raadhuis, Frits Van den Berghe, 25.09-24.10.1954, no. 33.
- 1955, Sao Paolo, Museo de Arte Moderna, 3. Bienal, 06-10.1955, no. 64.
- 1955, Nürnberg, Fränkische Galerie am Marientor, 50 Jahre Belgische Kunst 1890-1940, 06.06-10.07.1955, no. 72.
- 1957, Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, Frits Van den Berghe, 15.02-18.03.1957, no. 50.
- 1957, Knokke, Gemeentelijk Casino, Xe Zomerfestival, Frits Van den Berghe, 07.07-08.09.1957, no. 56.
- 1962, Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Retrospectieve Frits Van den Berghe, 05-27.05.1962, no. 68.
- 1999, Ostend, PMMK, Frits Van den Berghe, 16.10.1999-13.02.2000, no. 135.
- Galerie Le Centaure, Brussels, 1932, no. 96.
- Collection Ernest van Zuylen, Liège.
- Collection Mrs. E. van Zuylen, Liège.
In the second half of the 1920s, Frits Van den Berghe was inspired by the working methods of Max Ernst and other Parisian surrealists. Via the so-called "écriture automatique" they thought they could exclude all objectivity and give free rein to their own imagination. Van den Berghe was probably never more intuitive than in Hellish ride, a painting that seems to have emerged from the paint mass. Like a spring, browns, greens and ocher colors flow into one, at first glance, shapeless maelstrom. Slowly the gaze gets a grip on the whole and it appears that the painter has painted an amazon sitting on a bull. The composition is based on the ancient Greek story of the supreme god Zeus who kidnaps Europe in the form of a bull. But it immediately becomes clear how Van den Berghe deals freely with the story and places the classical motif in his own world of images and - in the words of Piet Boyens - turns it into a dark hell. Like many of his paintings, Hellish ride once belonged to the collection of Belgian art promoter Walter Schwarzenberg.
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