Albert Saverys, La Lys en Hiver, 1947
31.7 x 39.8 in.
Albert Saverys (1886-1964) was a Belgian painter, extremely prominent during the interwar period. Born in the city of Deinze in the Belgian province of East Flanders, Saverys studied at the Ghent Academy of Fine Arts against the backdrop of the First World War. Many of his earliest works are Expressionist, also often showing a strong Japanese influence. Stylistically diverse, his work expresses the pain of the extreme destruction of World War I as well as hope for rebuilding. Saverys's paintings have an extreme intensity, created by broad, physical brushstrokes and deep saturated colors. Another painting shows a very different view of the River Lys in Winter, with use of pointillism and simple lighting. The painting I have featured is a very complex depiction of this river, which played a significant role throughout Saverys's life. With the oranges and browns of the sky, and the box-like buildings, this painting may seem pessimistic, but the earthy glow of the landscape is one of warmth, suggesting a drawing close together against the cold. The red sun that hangs in the sky remains a warming influence, bringing light to this village.