Hubert Malfait


Hunter in the snow

oil on panel
75 x 100 cm
framed: 99 x 124 cm
signed lower left: H. Malfait

signed lower left: H.Malfait

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- F. Edebau, Hubert Malfait, cat. (Ostend: MSK, 1968), 46.
- M. Duchateau, Hubert Malfait (Tielt: Lannoo, 1979), 150, 175 (ill.).
- S. Malfait, P. Vanrobaeys, Hubert Malfait - Oeuvrecatalogus (Tielt: Lannoo, 1986), 68, 170, no. 847 (ill.).
- 1968, Ostend, Museum of Fine Arts, Retrospective Hubert Malfait, 30.06-01.09.1968, 46.
- A. De Backer, Ninove.
Exhibition label Ostend, 1968.

In the last period of the artist (1956-1968) his oeuvre is characterized by the pursuit of synthesis, both in terms of theme, composition and way of painting. This period is therefore also called full-term, the mature or the classical period.
The pure untouched snow landscape lends itself to order. The painting Hunter in the snow is experienced as a world in itself, subject to the physical laws of nature. The reminiscence to Pieter Bruegel the Elder is obvious. The evening has fallen and the hunter with his dog returns from a hunting party. With resolute brushstrokes, Malfait mainly uses browns and whites to depict the image of a cold, rough and cloudy winter evening. The sun has set and there is no shadow effect. Trees are leafless. Apparently the hunt has not been very successful. One sees the hunter on the back and this suggests a random observation. The lines of the field with snowy haystackers lead the hunter with dog and the viewer to the shelter on the middle plan.

In 1968 the first major retrospective exhibition of Hubert Malfait was organized at the Museum of Fine Arts of Ostend. It gave the artist the opportunity to show numerous early expressionist works. These were placed next to his representative works from his post-expressionist period, including this painting. The interest in (post-) expressionism in Flanders has been in the spotlight ever since.
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Hunter in the snow