Passionate about writing

Signs of invisible realities

Walking through the exhibition Les Portes d’Or, Charles Doudelet and symbolism, you are immersed in the symbolist years of the end of the nineteenth century. An art movement of French and Belgian origin.

For Charles Doudelet born in 1861 in Lille (France) and emigrated to Ghent (Belgium) at the age of sixteen;

J’entends par symbolisme l’essence même de l’Art, l’intérieure splendeur qui donne à telle œuvre un rayonnement magique, qui fait qu’on la sépare et qu’on l’admire comme un diamant parmi des cabochons de verre. (Charles Doudelet, L’idée libre 1901)

Symbolism is the essence of art, the inner glow that gives a work its magical aura, making it shine among the rest and be admired like a diamond between glass cabochons or precious stones. (Charles Doudelet, L’idée libre 1901, free translation)

( click on thumbnail to enlarge the picture)

picture on the left: Et s’il revenait un jour, illustration pour les Douze Chansons avec poème recopié par Doudelet, 1896, aquarelle sur estampe, 31,5 x 47 cm. Courtesy Thomas Deprez Fine Arts

picture in the middle: Projet non retenu pour la première édition des Douze chansons de Maeterlinck, ca 1896, trois dessins originaux à l’encre de Chine esquissés au crayon, montés en triptyque par l’artiste, 17,5 x 21,3 cm, courtesy Thomas Deprez Fine Arts, Bruxelles

picture on the right: Paysage ou les Neufs Lunes, vers 1894, huile sur toile, 30 x 43 cm. Coll. privée.

Showing his artistic work had a great result.

However, it was as a book illustrator that he would make a name for himself.

He not only found a kindred spirit in Maurice Maeterlinck, a Belgian playwright, poet and essayist who wrote in French. Doudelet was attracted to Maeterlinck’s writing.

As the two men get to know each other, they grow closer and Doudelet’s iconography is directly inspired by the mysterious dream world of Maeterlinck.

The exhibition therefor pays a lot of attention to books and magazines, illustrated publications and archive documents, sometimes unpublished material. And that is what makes this exhibition so fascinating.

picture on the left: La Fontaine de la vie ou Imploration II, vers 1896, plume, graphite, encre et lavis sur papier, 26,4 x 38,5 cm. Paris, musée d’Orsay, inv. RF MO AG 2016 2 2

picture in the middle: Les Parques, vers 1889, huile sur toile, 32 x 44 cm. Courtesy of Thomas Deprez Fine Arts

picture on the right: Allégorie de l’hiver, vers 1900, encre et aquarelle sur papier, 39,5 x 29 cm. Bruxelles, R.C.

“Les Portes d’Or, Charles Doudelet et le symbolisme, till 5th of March to see in Musée Félicien Rops, Namur

On the occasion of the exhibition the MSK is bringing a collection presentation of the Ghent artist’s work in one of the halls.

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