Léon Spilliaert: 1881 – 1946

by Anne Adriaens-Pannier (Author), Adrian Locke (Author), Will Stone (Author), Noemie Goldman (Author), Anna Testar (Author)

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Although often associated with the key figures of Belgian Symbolism, Léon Spilliaert in fact demonstrated a peculiarly individual style. Born in Ostend, he worked there for most of his career. An introvert and insomniac who suffered from poor health as a young man, Spilliaert wandered the night-time streets of the North Sea resort, creating mysterious and highly atmospheric depictions of its dark docks, beaches and promenades. Almost entirely self-taught, he drew influence from such painters as Odilon Redon and James Abbott McNeill Whistler, as well as the writers Edgar Allan Poe and Friedrich Nietzsche.

This book brings together over a hundred works from international collections, including a series of haunting self-portraits that Spilliaert created in his twenties. Authoritative authors discuss the artist’s singular approach and put his career in context alongside that of his more famous compatriot and contemporary James Ensor.

This book accompanies an exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, London (23 February – 25 May 2020). The exhibition then travels to the Musée d’Orsay, Paris (15 June – 13 September 2020).

Product Details

Hardcover: 176 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1912520220
Dimensions: 23.37 x 2.03 x 29.46 cm
ISBN-10: 1912520222
Publisher: Royal Academy of Arts; 1st edition (20 Feb. 2020)
Language: English

Editorial Reviews

Léon Spilliaert's eerie, enigmatic works inhabit a twilight netherworld between reality and dream.
Cath Pound
BBC: Culture

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