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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Valerius De Saedeleer


Winter
1926
other detail unknown

Valerius Victor Emiel Marie de Saedeleer (1867-1941) was a Belgian expressionist painter, one of the main figures in the school of Flemish expressionism. His style, the mixture of the Flemish expressionism with the tradition of Early Netherlandish painting, and especially the art of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, influenced some younger artists.

He was born in Aalst, Belgium as the son of a merchant. Refusing to work in his father's business, he left his parents and went to Ghent to study at the Academy of Fine Arts. He then started working as an independent artist in Brussels, and still searching for his own style.

He moved to Sint-Martens-Latem for a few months in 1893, then lived for two years in Ghent and three years in Lissewege, before moving back to Sint-Martens-Latem in 1898. There he formed part of the first artist colony of the village. Many other painters later joined the socalled first and second School of Latem. Such painters moved away from the luminism of Emile Claus and his followers, and turned towards a more sombre, sober palet, with influences of late Medieval Flemish painting. From 1904-1905 on, he started working in an expressionistic symbolism, a purified style, with mostly empty, silent, motionless landscapes, often in winter. He started getting attention in the media and, by 1907, he was the most successful of the painters from Latem. In 1908, he moved to Tiegem, which reflected itself in some changes in his landscapes, and his success remained. In 1914 he moved to Wales to flee the First World War and he remained there until 1920. In 1933, he became an honorary citizen of the city of Aalst.