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Emile Claus. (1849 - 1924). 

October Morning on the River Leie. (1884).

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Emile Claus. (1849 - 1924). October Morning on the River Leie. 

Emile Claus is a Belgian painter, leader of the luminism. About 1885, under the influence of his friend Theodore Verstraete (1850 - 1907), his painting, already tinted realism and of naturalism becomes more luminous and lights, so that it is called the painter of the sun. Emile Claus was born in Vive-Saint-Eloi, a small village of Flandres on the edges of the River Leie. In 1888, it settles in Astene, at the edge of the Leie. The Leie is a river of the North of France and of Belgium, it is directed south-west in the North-East, it is the affluent from the Escaut in Ghent, in Belgium, its length is of 214 km. In 1889, Emile Claus rents during 3 years, a workshop in Paris, which it occupies the winter, after its summers spent with Astene. He attends the impressionist painters and admires especially Monet. As it here is noted the light becomes the reason for his paintings, it uses elementary colours, it breaks up the prism and refracts it through tons luminous. One can consider the luminism in Belgium as a form of impressionism which concentrates on the light effects. The Belgian luminism combines a delicate, fine, sometimes split key and a sunny pallet. The forms are detached in a fog from light and are carried out with small jerked blows of brush. The essential difference with French impressionism remains in the great part of realism and naturalism which are always present in the majority of works. Emile Claus is the figurehead of the luminism, he use sunny colors but it does not use tons them improvisers of the draft. Later than impressionism the luminism integrates the assets of the post impressionism, certain paintings of Emile Claus are of invoice completely pointillist and other painters use the colours of the fauvism. Emile Claus tightened the painter who will reach the most notoriety. The great international exhibitions claim it and the museums buy its works. He founds, in 1904, the circle Life and Light in which James Ensor and Georges Lemmen take part. In 1905, a great exposure to Brussels, to the artistic Circle, devotes it like the inventive painter of a new landscape, 52 paintings show that he is the creator of a Flanders of the painters whom painting did not know. However with time the painters luminists were a little forgotten and a century later their international repute grew blurred. Recognized and admired especially in Belgium and Flanders, They are little known on the international market of Art. It is difficult to support the comparison with the immense one and universal fame of Impressionism, especially the world of art is opaque and unjust, often dominated by great financial interests, the word luminism and the painter Emile Claus from great numbers of encyclopedias or dictionaries of painting are often absent, so that one can affirm that the Belgian luminists painters are forgotten by history of Art. Speaking of us a little today it’s only to return justice of them.

The point of view of the spectator is located just in lower part of the horizon.

The glance of the spectator is attracted by the light. First of all in the central part of painting (1,2), then it goes up in top on the right (3), then it goes down again to the bottom (4), the blue represented by these flowers (cold colour) acts by contrast with the hot colours of the center of the painting. 

3 natural points of interests are used. The tree in the foreground is located on the superiors and lowers points of interests of the left. The luminous zone which has the hottest colours finds on the lower natural point of interest of the right. 

Distribution of the cold and hot colours.

The cold colours, green and blue, are mainly in bottom, on the right and on the left of pictorial space. 

The hot colours, yellow orange and red, are in the center of work and in top. 

The light is the principal subject of this work. 

The principal guiding lines are rising or downward. 

The artist uses simultaneously the 2 diagonals to build his painting.

Details : 

The central part is flooded in a luminous fog characteristic of stretch of water in the morning. The blue which represents this fog emphasized by contrast the extremely hot colours of the vegetation, the yellow and orange.

In the center the vegetation is bathed of light and is represented with a great meticulousness and much of precision and delicacy. The green of grass emphasizes the hottest colours.

The solid mass of left is also in charge of light, the hot colours contrast with blue and the green the succession of several solid masses from left to right bathing in the light lets appear a phenomenon of trail of light. The spectator can follow the central luminous ray from left to right. 

Light: The scene is enlightened of in bottom on the left. It’s the sunlight which has just risen. In bottom the spectator can follow his direction thanks to the most luminous zones. 
Natural solar light acts here like a projector. 

Colours: Contrasts between hot and cold, complementary colours.

Similar Paintings : 

Emile Claus. The Harvest.

Emile Claus. Young country-women going on the edges of the Leie. 

Emile Claus. A Meeting on the Bridge.

Emile Claus. The Sunny Tree.