Le Matin, ca. 1905-1906


300 x 240 mm

Pastel on felt

Signed lower right



Ancienne collection Ernest De Taeye, Ostend

Private collection, Brussels

Click image to enlarge


Originating from Ostend, Jan De Clerck ranks among the great artists this city has delivered. While standing at the fore front of modern Belgian art the beginning of the 20th century, Jan De Clerck's career flourished amidst those of James Ensor, Léon Spilliaert (who had the same age as De Clerck), and De Clerck's own brother Oscar who became an important Art Deco sculptor. De Clerck, however, always retained a highly individual style which is still appreciated by connoisseurs and collectors alike. With a predilection for pastel drawings, De Clerck assimilated both the influence of neo-impressionist and pointillist techniques, and of a lyrical and atmospherical symbolism. This synthesis culminated around 1905-1906, with a series of works that are both in technique and atmosphere very defining for this delicate poet. In the present drawing the artist seems to experiment with the balance between a radically modern and dynamic composition, and the stillness of an early morning along the river. His strokes, vigorously vertical, vibrate with light in a way that is clearly borrowed from the Belgian Luminist tradition and tones down any strong contours. By assimilating the important currents in Belgian art from the end of the 19th century (symbolism, neo-impressionism and luminism) De Clerck arrived at a personal style that is intrinsically Belgian but universally appreciated. While De Clerck wasn't interested in being part of important artist societies, he stood at the foundation of informal and sympathetic societies in the Ostend art scene, such as the Cercle Artistique d'Ostende and the group Kunst Genegen. In the course of the First World War, he played an important role in the continuous promotion of Belgian artist refugees in the UK. 

THOMAS DEPREZ FINE ARTS   |    Kasteelstraat 1, 8980 Geluveld -Belgium-    |    +32 479 07 74 28    |