del tuo spirito
di baci avvolti
di un qualsiasi mattino divino…’
~ Catherine La Rose ~
Paul Delvaux (1897-1994), belgian painter and printmaker. He was, with René Magritte, one of the major exponents of SURREALISM in Belgium. He began his training in 1920 at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, initially as an architect, but he soon changed to decorative painting, and he completed his studies in 1924. In his earliest works, such as Seascape (1923; Ostend, Mus. S. Kst.) and The Couple (1929; Brussels, Mus. A. Mod.), he was strongly influenced by the Flemish Expressionism of painters such as Constant Permeke and Gustav De Smet. In the mid-1930s, however, he turned decisively to Surrealism, not as an orthodox member of the movement but to a large extent under the influence of Giorgio De Chirico’s Pittura Metafisica, which he had first seen c. 1926. Among his first characteristic works in this vein are Pink Bows (1937) and Phases of the Moon (1939; New York, MOMA), in both of which he incorporated the somnambulant figures that were to become his trademark.
Delvaux “fait de l’univers l’empire d’une femme toujours la même qui règne sur les grands faubourgs du Coeur” (Breton). Cette femme au visage énigmatique, toujours nue parmi les ruines désertes de monuments antiques, nous la retrouvons dans presque toutes les peintures de Delvaux, parfois multipliée à plusieurs exemplaires.