Emile Claus

(1849-1924)

Young shepherd in Oran

1879
Watercolor on paper
34 x 16 cm
Signed and dated lower left: Em. Claus / Oran / 79

Signed and dated lower left: Em. Claus / Oran / 79

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Description
Emile Claus is regonized as the leader of the Luminist movement in Belgium. As such, he was at the forefront of the group Vie et Lumière along with James Ensor and Georges Lemmen. Claus was to have one of the longest standing influences on Modern Belgian art, researching younger generations of artiss including Permeke, both De Smet brothers and Van den Berghe.
The major tuning point in the artist's career occurred after 1889, when he rented a studio in Paris. He was introduced to Le Sidaner who became a close friend and to Monet, who inspired his conversation towards a new art of spontaneity, light and pure colours.
The 'Young shepherd in Oran', painted in 1879 during hi roundtrip throught the South of Spain, Marocco and Algeria, stands as a landmark in Claus' career. It is a tradition work, illustrating a move away from the confines of the compelling academicism which had so far dominated Belgian art. Having studied under the romantic landscape painter Jacob Jacobs and the history painter Nicaise de Keyser, Claus was by now beginning to evolve independently, regonizing and celebrating the beauty of plein air painting.
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