Recent acquisitions: two works by Laermans exhibited in the Fin-de-Siècle Museum

Published on 25.06.2018

Two newly acquired works by Eugène Laermans will be exhibited in the Fin-de-Siècle Museum from 25 June 2018 on.

The drawing En marche [La grève] is typical of Eugene Laermans’ social realism. His production from the 1890’s onward makes him widely known around 1900. This drawing, with a subject similar to that of the painting Un soir de grève or Le drapeau rouge (1893), which is also exhibited on this floor of the Fin-de-siècle Museum, was used for the cover of the Album du 1er Mai 1903 of the socialist paper Le Peuple. The crowd – whether strikers or migrants – is a recurrent subject in Laermans’ oeuvre. Here, it is depicted between two walls, in an utmost structured composition which gives a strong sense of narrowness. The painter chose a dark colour scheme and hasty lines for his figures: the anonymity of the crowd is nearly complete, which gives the subject its universality. The strike is personified by an indivisible crowd that walks towards the lighted horizon, probably the rising sun. The expression is both tragic, even baleful, and promising.

The other work by Laermans that was recently acquierd, named La Foule (inv. 12555), dates from from 1893/1894. This work, made with Chinese ink on paper, can also be discovered at the Fin-de-Siècle Museum untill 11 December 2018.