Brussels 1883 – Dilbeek 1953
oil on canvas
151 x 151 cm
Inventory number 2967
Jean Brusselmans lived all his life in a modest house in the tiny Brabantine village of Koudenaerde. He used to call it ‘Kouden Haard’ (cold hearth), because of its rampant poverty. The window in his studio looked out onto the rural surroundings of Dilbeek, a landscape that would continue to intrigue him as an artist. Time and again, he would paint the row of houses and the patchwork of fields and the woodland in the distance, in all seasons and on sunny as well as rainy days. This particular version captures the freshness of springtime, with a sensual range of green hues under an enchanting sky.
Brusselmans combines several techniques in this painting. The dark monochrome sidewall of the house at the centre of the composition contrasts strongly with its colourful surroundings. Various elements have been accentuated by means of bold contour lines, as reality is reduced to an ordered, structured, almost geometric pattern. The different components in the painting are stacked on top of each other, rather than in a manner that creates a sense of depth or space. This unique style makes his work instantly recognisable.