Favourite artists

March 10, 2006

Paul Delvaux
Belgian, surrealist

Trains du soir, 1957

Delvaux, though not as well known as many, was one the finest of the surrealists. He understood the essence of the genre better than almost any of them, better than Miro, Chagall, the bombastic Salvador Dali. He knew that surrealism was the reconstruction of dreams from the heart of re-entered darkness.

His haunting, enigmatic nudes are ethereal, other-worldly — yes, dreams — but are probably not suitable for posting here.

On the other hand, why not? The Belgians put them on postage stamps.

Sleeping Venus, 1944

One comment

  1. […] Where Delvaux takes you back into dreams, Kokoschka calls you out of them. In his paintings the waking, everyday world recalls the resonances of the dreams we would rather forget. Behind every brushstroke lie torment, nightmares, horrors. Perhaps his WWI experience of being gassed contributed to his macabre vision. Perhaps it was his succession of traumatic love affairs, not least with Alma Mahler, widow of Gustav, later the wife of Franz Werfel, and the female subject in Windsbraut (Bride of the Wind, also called The Tempest), below. The tortured male is Kokoschka himself, his agony the counterpoint to her serenity. […]

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