Frits Van den Berghe

(1883-1939)

Flowers

1931
Oil on canvas
75 x 62 cm
Framed: 98 x 85,5 cm
Signed lower centre: FVBerghe

Signed lower centre: FVBerghe

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Literature
- De Ridder, A., Frits Van den Berghe, exh. cat. (Bruxelles: Palais des Beaux-Arts, 1962), no. 73.
- Langui, E., Frits Van den Berghe. Catalogue raisonné de son oeuvre peint (Bruxelles: Laconti, 1966), no. 383 (ill.).
- Langui, E., Frits Van den Berghe 1883-1939 (Antwerpen: Mercatorfonds, 1968), p. 312, no. 383 (ill.).
- Milo, J., Vie et Survie du Centaure (Bruxelles: Editions Nationales d'Art, 1980), p. 102, no. 68.
- Boyens, P., Frits Van den Berghe (monographie) (Gent: SD&Z, 1999), p. 458, no. 739 (ill.).
- Boyens, P. & G. Marquenie, Retrospectieve Frits Van den Berghe, exh. cat. (Oostende: PMMK, 1999), p. 172, no. 143 (ill.).
- Pauwels, P.J.H., Comme un miroir étincelant (Sint-Martens-Latem: Galerie Oscar De Vos, 2019), p. 294 (ill.).
Exhibitions
- 1962, Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Retrospectieve Frits Van den Berghe, 1962, no. 73.
- 1999, Ostend, PMMK, Frits Van den Berghe, 16.10.1999-16.02.2000, no. 143.
Provenance
- Collection Walter Schwartzberg, Brussels.
- Galerie Le Centaure, Brussels, 1932, no. 68.
- Collection M. Ittner, Brussels.
- Collection Ch. & Jac. Nice, Brussels.
- Collection Gérard Moneyn, Brussels.
- Galerie André, Brussels, 1998, no. 44 (ill.).
Description
The painting Pot with flowers is one of the rare still lifes Frits Van den Berghe painted around 1930. However, the viewer is warned: is this a simple flower arrangement? The flowers are very similar to the twisted anthropomorphic heads that the painter incorporated into his work around the same time. His few still lifes made a fuss and had noisy critics who criticized its literary content. Now Van den Berghe is pre-eminently a painter who was inspired by in-depth literature and philosophical treatises. It was therefore not just a still life for a complex nature like his, but rather part of his world. For the artist, reality was always permeated with a subtle spirituality, and at the same time this reality was shattered by his motives, his thinking and subconscious mind, which was always looking for the real grounds behind everyday events and simple things. His so-called surrealist work is a symbiosis of human thought, of the painter's psyche, which takes nothing for granted. The human or at least human-shaped appearance of the flowers can therefore be seen as an image of flowering and at the same time transience of man, who is equally short-lived. Or do they rather reflect the thoughts of people when they see a bouquet that, as tradition says, tells a lot about its compiler. Like many of his paintings, this work once belonged to the collection of the Belgian art promoter Walter Schwarzenberg.

On reverse on the frame: several exhibition labels and a handwriting: Collectie le Centaure W. Schwarzenberg.
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