Albert Servaes

(1883-1966)

Grain harvesters

c. 1910
oil on canvas
40 x 45 cm
lower right: a. servaes

lower right: a. servaes

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Literature
- Stubbe, A., Albert Servaes (Leuven: Davidsfonds, 1953), compare painting p. 120, pl. 22 (ill.).
- Haesaerts, P. & R.H. Marijnissen, "Albert Servaes," in: L'Art Flamand d'Ensor à Permeke (Anvers: Ed. Fonds Mercator, 1970), compare painting Albert Servaes/6 (ill.).
- Haesaerts, P., Sint-Martens-Latem (Antwerpen: Mercatorfonds, 1982), 202-231, compare painting p. 204 (ill).
- Schoonbaert, L.M.A., Albert Servaes (Tielt: Lannoo, 1984), compare painting p. 112 (ill.).
- Van Doorne, V. & L.M.A. Schoonbaert, Albert Servaes (1883-1966), cat. (Deinze: MuDeL, 1983), 107-118, compare painting p. 17, no. 32 (ill.).
- Boyens, P., Sint-Martens-Latem. Kunstenaarsdorp in Vlaanderen (Tielt: Lannoo, 1992), compare painting p. 608 (ill).
- De Smet, J., Sint-Martens-Latem en de Kunst aan de Leie (Tielt: Lannoo, 2000), 184-190, compare painting p. 185 (ill.).
Exhibitions
- Brussels, La Maison d'Art 'Intérieur', Rue de Namur 9
Provenance
- La Maison d'Art 'Intérieur', Rue de Namur 9, Brussels
Description
Albert Servaes occupies a separate place within the artists' circle of Sint-Martens-Latem; he is a connecting figure between the first and the second Latem group. His authenticity and meaning in the direction of artistic innovation leave no doubt. Servaes ’works that originate in Sint-Martens-Latem are enough to count him among the pioneers of modern art. Early works show that the artist is inspired by the art of Jean-François Millet, Vincent van Gogh and Gustave Van de Woestijne. In the Latem area, Servaes moves to the field where he portrays country life. He conceives the peasant figure as transcendental, confronted with finite life in their unyielding steadfastness, in their substantial monumentality. A typical example is the painting 'Corn Picker on the Field' in which prone farmers perform their fieldwork in profile. Servaes usually does not use perspective, but because of the half height of the figure on the canvas, the artist creates a depth to the background. The body bends rhythmically with the golden yellow corn. In this way Servaes accentuates human solidarity with harsh nature. In this painting, people and nature in particular merge in color and form. Opposite to the anecdotalism of his former harvesters, all details are now lost and the corn pickers fade into an expressively brushed field, a rough rhythm of the "struggle of people against nature, the titanic struggle against the masses of golden grain that blazes like a blaze of fire."
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