Returning ships on the Zuiderzee, Blaricum 1919
- About the artworkOil on canvas
45 x 57 cm.
Signed: lower left ‘Berghe’
Provenance: Bernaerts, Antwerp, 1997, no. 2501; Private collection, the Netherlands.
Literature: P. Boyens, P. Derom en G. Marquenie, Frits Van den Berghe 1883-1939, Gent 1999, p. 377, no. 170.
Influenced by his Dutch colleagues, Van den Berghe made a series of land- and townscapes in which he transformed the modern styles into a personal imagery.
- About the artist
Frits van den Berghe was a Flemish painter, draftsman and engraver from Gent. Van den Berghe worked in a wide variety of styles, moving from Impressionism to Expressionism and eventually to Fantastic Surrealism. Together with Albert Servaes, Constant Permeke and Gustaaf de Smet, Van den Berghe is considered to be one of the co-founders of the Latem Expressionism group. Some of the other art societies he was active in were L'Art Vivant, Sélection and Les Compagnons de l'Art. He teached at the Academy of Arts in Gent, where he studied as well. Returning from New York in 1914, Frits was inspired by Jan Sluijter's Fauvism and German Expressionism. During the first world war, his expressionism flourished. In 1928, Van den Berghe started making cartoons for the socialist magazine 'Vooruit', where he would stay until his death. In the meantime, Van den Berghe's style had evolved from expressionism towards fantastic surrealism, depicting nightmares, dreams and hallucinations in a strong colour palette, clearly influenced by the German surrealist Max Ernst. He portrayed the human being as being generally obsessed and fearful. Influences of multiple important artists such as Max Ernst, Egon Schiele, Giorgio de Chirico, Edvard Munch and Leo Gestel are recognisable in his work.