High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands


High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

A Master of Everyday Life. The Work of Constant Permeke
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A Master of Everyday Life. The Work of Constant Permeke

(Willy van den Bussche) The Low Countries - 1997, № 5, pp. 194-206

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The Flemish painter and sculptor Constant Permeke (1886-1952) sought in his work to represent everyday reality. His subjects usually related to the geographical area in which he found himself at a given moment; he feltit personally drawn to the simple, almost primitive way of life of fishermen and farmers, not only observing them but actually living among them. Whilst living on the coast (in Ostend) he painted mainly scenes from the life of the fishermen; during the time he spent near Ghent (in Sint-Martens- Latem), in the rural village of Astene and in Jabbeke (near Bruges), his work was inspired mainly by rural life. In addition to the simplicity and spontaneity of his subjects, Permeke was also struck by the eternal and universal values in their souls. Permeke's involvement with his immediate surroundings is idiosyncratic, but he transcends directly perceptible reality to arrive at a cosmic vision. It is precisely this quality that makes him a stubbornly individual and internationally significant expressionist.

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