About this artwork

In the space of a short career Henri Evenepoel created a powerful and highly personal oeuvre in which he managed to arrive at a synthesis of the various Modernist movements of the end of the nineteenth century. '‘The Spaniard in Paris'’ is a portrait of the painter Francesco Iturrino who was a friend of Evenepoel. The monumental and sober figure of the Spaniard is one of the highlights of the history of portraiture. The lifesize figure enveloped in a black cape is standing still in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Paris. In this daring composition the painter depicts the life around the Moulin Rouge on a smaller scale enhancing the majestic and imposing appearance of the Spaniard. Here Evenepoel'’s feeling for rich and deep colours is demonstrated in the harmony of black blue ochre and the intense red accent of the Moulin Rouge. '‘The Spaniard in Paris'’ was a great breakthrough in Evenepoel'’s artistic development and greatly contributed to his fame. At the Ghent Salon of 1899 the poet and art critic Emile Verhaeren called the portrait '‘an almost perfect masterpiece'’.

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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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