Thursday, February 09, 2012

Rik Wouters

"Nel at work" , watercolor.
Click to enlarge.

"Noortman gave pride of place at the front of his stand to an early 20th-century artist from Belgium, Rik Wouters. ... Wouters was a hit."
(Tefaf 2004)

One of the most popular Flemish artists, Rik Wouters, is primarily known for his marvellous fauvist paintings. Watercolours play an important role in the philosophy of the artist; it was Wouters aim to maintain the spontaneity of a study in his artworks.

Rik Wouters was a Belgian painter and sculptor born in Flanders (Malines) in 1882 and died in Amsterdam in 1916.

As a sculptor-decorator of pieces of furniture he started to work at the age of twelve years in the workshop of his father, where he learned woodcarving.
Then he followed the courses at the Academy of Malines from 1897, and later the Royal Academy of the Art of Brussels in 1900, in particular the course of “sculpture according to nature” given by Charles Van der Stappen.

He was a friend of Fernand Verhaegen, and was in the same class as Edgard Tytgat. At the beginning of his career, Rik Wouters was fascinated by the work of James Ensor.

In 1905 he meets Nel, the young model woman for various artists, she becomes his wife and "MUSE", he will never stop representing her.

In the year 1908, his reputation as a sculptor was already established.
The year 1912 was important for Rik Wouters. In this year he came to an agreement with Georges Giroux, who had just started his gallery in Brussels. Rik Wouters made sixty paintings for the gallery in 1912.

Sources: Noortman, Peter Vanruysseveldt, Souren Melikian.

More on the Expo at Malines (in Dutch)



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