Liggende boer

Sleeping Peasant.

Constant Permeke

About this artwork

Constant Permeke is the most singular and the most monumental Flemish Expressionist. In contrast to the other Expressionists Permeke made many large drawings. They are typically drawn with great precision and sophistication like this '‘Sleeping Peasant'’. As a reaction against the '‘bourgeois'’ art of that time Permeke and other artists retired to the village of SintMartensLatem to be more in touch with nature and the rural way of life. In the '‘Sleeping Peasant'’ the artist leaves out every suggestion of place or detail. The enlargement of the peasant'’s hands and feet enhances the drawing'’s instinctive expression. By simplifying and distorting the figure Permeke focuses on the essence and the strength of the peasant. The interaction between man and nature is a central theme in his oeuvre. Permeke'’s art characteristically displays a profound sympathy with the harshness of peasant life and a great connectedness with the earth. With the barest minimum of means in just a few lines he expresses the toughness power and fundamental greatness of the sleeping peasant.

About the artist

About the collection

The Museum of Fine Arts Ghent has a collection of about 9,000 works, from the Middle Ages to the first half of the 20th century. Over 600 works are shown in the museum’s permanent collection presentation. The spotlight is mainly on painting from the Southern Netherlands but print art, sculpture and European painting are also well represented. Moreover, the museum is a knowledge centre for the art of the 19th century, the fin de siècle and the early 20th century.

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