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Octave Soudan

Octave Soudan

Oudenaarde 1872 - Sint-Denijs-Westrem 1947

Octave Soudan was a Flemish painter and draftsman, and belonged to the 2nd Group of Latem. Soudan became skilled as a painter at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent. Like many other friends who emigrated to the surrounding communities in search of natural beauty, he went to settle in Sint-Denijs-Westrem and not much later in Sint-Martens-Leerne where he painted mainly the Leie and marshes. He moved to Sint-Martens-Latem in 1934. In all respects he belonged to the second Group of Latem, both in terms of technology (Luminism and post-impressionist) and themes (the landscape, the Leie, the cast). He very rarely used figurative subjects. The key elements of his paintings were the light, the color palette of nature, the impression of the moment and the greatness of nature. Known are numerous forest and lanes often topped with summer sunlight, or sparkling autumn colours. Like no other he knew how to capture the impression of the moment. 

Soudan would have been an exuberant, high-spirited man, which is reflected in his wide, brutal brush technique. He used the Impressionist colour techniques – such as purple or red shadows, the layering of the paint – but mostly he stays classic in its nature view. A style between a floury realism and airy impressionism. 

Soudan remained rather in the background and craftsmanship continue to work diligently in his somewhat stereotypical style. As such he was a less requested artist for major exhibitions, and thus less described. He participated at a few exhibitions in Antwerp and a group exhibition organised by the Cercle Artistique et Littéraire of Ghent in 1923 and 1926.