Friday, February 24, 2012

Khnopff, Fernand

La tentation de Saint Antoine (The Temptation of St Anthony)
Oil on canvas
83 x 83 cm
Private Collection

Fernand Edmond Jean Marie Khnopff (1858 – 1921) was a Belgian symbolist painter, sculptor, photographer and writer. He abandoned law school, turning to literature and art.

He was one of the foremost Symbolist artists and active supporters of avant-garde art in late 19th-century Belgium. He took certain themes from a friend of Symbolist poetry: silence, solitude, secretiveness and deserted towns. Already during his lifetime he was almost a cult figure, creating a personality for himself as a dandy much sought after in Society circles.

He admired the work of Ingres and was especially attracted to the painterly art of Rubens, Rembrandt, the Venetian Renaissance and particularly Delacroix. He was given the Order of Leopold in recognition of his services to painting but despite this he was an exceptionally private artist.