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Gent 1864 - 1916
Léon-Georges Buysse was the son of a cotton industrialist and the cousin of writer Cyriel Buysse. He was to follow in his father’s footsteps and consequently took over his father’s company. In his spare time Buysse was a passionate artist: he studied arts and elaborated his artistic knowledge during his visits to many museums and his friendship with Emile Claus. As of 1894 he took part in exhibitions in Paris, Venice, Barcelona, London and Berlin. It was not until the early 1900’s that he would exhibit his works in his home country, more specific in ‘La Libre Esthétique” in Brussels and Ghent. Landscapes and cityscapes of Ghent were his main themes, as well as garden views and paintings of large country houses.
In 1900 Buysse settled in Wondelgem, in the beautiful house “Ter Vaert”, designed by Art Nouveau architect Paul Hankar. It had a beautiful view on the Ghent-Terneuzen’s canal, which would play a dominant role in his work. His earliest work was close to the pre-impressionist style and was defined by dreary colours.
His palette became clearer under the influence of Emile Claus and a trip to southern France. He gradually adopted a more impressionist and Luminist style. As a founding member of “Vie et Lumière he fully underwrote Luminism – with its usage of exuberant emphasis on light and light effects in painting – as a major exponent of the evolution that Impressionism underwent at that time.