Francis Maere Fine Arts at PAN-Amsterdam
This month we'll be in Amsterdam !
The pAn Amsterdam Artfair was created in 1987 as the national counterpart of The Antiquairs National & The Pictura Fine Art Fair, that became the TEFAF in Maastricht, and is still organized by the same team.
It presents a good mixture of antiques and contemporary art by dealers from the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. Doors are opening on Saturday 24th of november until december 1st.
This year we'll be concentrating on three different artists.
A nice selection of the work by the Belgian luminist artist Rodolphe DE SAEGHER (1871 – 1941) will show once more that he deserves his place amongst the great Belgian impressionist artists such as Emile Claus and Théo Van Rysselberghe.
We'll be happy to present a new monography and catalogue raisonné of the artist.
The contemporary section will show recent work by Sylvie MARTENS (°1964) following the very successfull exhibition in our Ghent Gallery.
Her unique way of depicting clouds and to communicate their soft, yet dramatic character, make her an extremely talented artist. It is a fresh
and contemporary interpretation of a subject so loved by many great artists.
We have been representing the British sculptor-animalier Jonathan KNIGHT (°1954) for about 20 years now and we continu to show his new work all over the world.
He has created several new pieces, all of them in an edition of 6 or 12. These will be shown for the first time at pAn-Amsterdam. His sculpture is the perfect match between realism and stylisation, in an esprit "Art Deco" spirit with stunning patinas.
Sylvie Martens "Clouds"
Pictures of an exhibition
Hotel Falligan, prolonged until November 17th
Francis Maere Fine Arts is proud to present to you, our new department of Contemporary art. From now on, we will regularly exhibit works by exciting new and upcoming contemporary artists, as an addition to our selection of works from the 19th and 20th century. We are very happy to start this new chapter in the history of our gallery, with an exhibition by Sylvie Martens.
We all catch ourselves looking up at the sky, our thoughts drifting away as we admire the glorious panorama presented to us by the clouds? The speed at which they glide by, changing shapes continuously. A flower, a dragon, an enormous wave, dancing silhouettes... Sometimes a glimmer of beautiful weather ahead, at other times warning us of an imminent storm. How boring would life be if the sky was always pure blue, clear of clouds?
In 18th century Venice, the wonderful ceiling paintings of Tiepolo featured clear blue skies populated by plump cupids, balancing awkwardly, but with a certain elegance, on top of the fluffy clouds. The wonderful vedutes of Canaletto of Guardi, the finely detailed cityscapes underneath a bright sky draped with full, white clouds. In the paintings of the 17th century Northern Netherlands school, a great deal of attention was given to the events taking place above the horizon. In the dark, bleak landscapes of Jan Van Goyen or Jacob Ruysdael, and the calm and tranquil seascapes of Willem van de Velde. The grand masters of the turbulent skies were without doubt Turner and Constable, which contributed to their reputation as the forerunners of Impressionism. The boundaries were eliminated completely with the pleinairism of the late 19th century. Nature became the subject an sich, where previously it merely provided a backdrop. A sense of drama could be found in Delacroix or in the majestic sunsets of Turner.
It is Constable, however, who at a certain moment in his artistic development dedicated an entire series of paintings to a meticulous study of clouds. Dozens of sketches, many unfinished, painted sur le vif, and on occasion almost abstract. Monet and his contemporaries were obsessed by capturing a ‘moment’ – a rainbow, a stormy wind blowing through a row of poplar trees, a ray of sunshine piercing a gloomy layer of cloud. Their wonderful canvases still exert an immense attraction. Clouds continued to fascinate artists throughout the 20th century. Sometimes fixed, ominously hanging in a surrealistic landscape of Magritte, at other times wildly dominating the sweltering summertime compositions of Permeke.
This series of paintings by Sylvie Martens has its origins in the same passion for nature and the métier of painting. Analysed almost photographically, departing from a blue or grey background, you gradually see them take form, you can see the mass develop as the various layers of oil paint infuse each other. With delicate brushstrokes, the contours are blurred and merged together to form a complete, harmonious whole. They are temperamental, majestic, and full of confidence. At the same time they are fragile, sensitive, and ephemeral.
The passion for painting, working with the matière, also drove the artist to use hide as a canvas. The small studies on chamois leather are reminiscent of the series of Constable or Chevalier, but then in a contemporary context. The sensual character of the hide, the unevenness, the folds, the weathered look, all enhance the effect. Each hide is different; different in shape – irregularly cut – and different in color.
It certainly is an achievement to bring our gaze back to something so ordinary or banal as a cloud. The clouds that pass us by every day are innumerable, they are untouchable, and they are both uplifting and depressing at the same time. A joy for us to look at, as it was a pleasure for the artist to paint.
Xavier and César De Cock
This September we are glad to present to you an exhibition of works by César and Xavier De Cock.
Both brothers were already very successful as artists throughout their life, and were internationally admired as landscape painters. As sons of textile workers, their choice for a carrier in arts wasn’t self-evident, but their talent was already obvious from a young age on.
(St. Eloois-Vijve 1849 -
Two girls in the Fields (1896)
oil on canvas 51 × 74 cm
(St. Eloois-Vijve 1849 -
oil on canvas 75 × 120 cm
(Brussel 1861 - St. Gillis 1932)
“The Swing” (ca. 1900-1910)
oil on canvas 125 × 170 cm
This summer we present you a sublime selection of works by the luminist and impressionist artists of Belgium and Europe.
As highlights we are proud to show you a group of works by Emile Claus, one of Belgium’s most renown artists. Throughout this exhibition you can clearly see his development from a young, docile painter to a much more independent and strong-minded artist.
He prefers to depict children, as they are a beautiful reflection of the character of the landscape they are presented in.
There is a definite romantic, yet realistic aspect to this sort of compositions, in which we see the children in their everyday activities, with a truly innocent body language. The rural landscape, of which the playfulness is highlighted by the detailed depiction of the sunlight and shadows, emphasizes the carefree time that youth ought to be. It is with great honor that we offer these truly unique pieces, which have never been shown to the public before.
As a second highlight, we kindly present you one of Franz Gailliard’s masterpieces, The Swing. After traveling around Europe, Gailliard was very much inspired by the impressionists, who he met in Paris. This encouraged him to also discover the playfulness of the light and brighter colors in his works. Just as much as Claus, he choses a subject and technique which strengthen each other. In this case, the work depicts a classic scene in the park, in a neoimpressionist, divisionist style. The lightness of the brushstrokes is in perfect dialogue with the hastiness of the moment, of children’s laughter and a warm spring breeze.