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Woman at the Shoreline, 1910 by Leon Spilliaert, Léon Spilliaert in mustard and white font below

Léon Spilliaert

By (author) Adrian Locke
By (author) Anna Testar
By (author) Anne Adriaens-Pannier
By (author) Noemie Goldman
By (author) Will Stone


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  • Léon Spilliaert (1881-1946) was one of the most important Flemish artists of the twentieth century
  • This publication accompanies the first major exhibition of his work in the UK
Full Description

Although often associated with the key figures of Belgian Symbolism, Léon Spilliaert in fact demonstrated a peculiarly individual style. Born in Ostend, he worked there for most of his career. An introvert and insomniac who suffered from poor health as a young man, Spilliaert wandered the night-time streets of the North Sea resort, creating mysterious and highly atmospheric depictions of its dark docks, beaches and promenades. Almost entirely self-taught, he drew influence from such painters as Odilon Redon and James Abbott McNeill Whistler, as well as the writers Edgar Allan Poe and Friedrich Nietzsche. This book brings together over a hundred works from international collections, including a series of haunting self-portraits that Spilliaert created in his twenties. Authoritative authors discuss the artist’s singular approach and put his career in context alongside that of his more famous compatriot and contemporary James Ensor. This book accompanies an exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, London (23 February – 25 May 2020). The exhibition then travels to the Musée d’Orsay, Paris (15 June – 13 September 2020).

About the Author

Anne Adriaens-Pannier is the leading expert on Spilliaert and author of Léon Spilliaert: From the Depths of the Soul (2018). Adrian Locke is Senior Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. Will Stone is a writer, poet and translator of French, Belgian and German literature. Noémie Goldman is Director of Eric Gillis Fine Art, Brussels, and a specialist in nineteenth-century art. Anna Testar is Assistant Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts, London.

Look Inside
Royal Academy of Arts
13th Feb 2020
World excluding USA & Canada
290 mm x 220 mm
176 Pages
150 color
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