RemarksThis ordinary lad lived at the Langegang, Antwerp. Floris Jespers dressed the boy up in a naval costume in order to model in his studio. During World War II this boy did not respect the curfew and was apprehended by the German military.
Provenancecoll. Paul van Ostaijen, Antwerp, who acquired the work directly from the artist.
COLOR SPLENDOR FROM THE COLLECTION OF PAUL VAN OSTAIJEN
Jespers' affiliation to Rik Wouters and Brabant fauvism cannot be ignored, although motive is more important to him and execution more naturalistic. This early period is marked by a variety of modern movements that blow like a whirlwind over the Belgian art scene, each of them stimulating Jespers in their own way. The seeds are sown for a further development of fauvism, cubism, futurism and especially expressionism which Jespers will incorporate later in his oeuvre.
Bright colors catch the eye among other, softer hues applied with airy strokes. Jespers explores the boundaries between figuration and abstraction. Color and light are the composition's creative factors, while lines are limited to a bare minimum. Bearing in mind the legacy of the Luminists, he creates an delicate and warm impression of cherished child.
Paul van Ostaijen, a close friend to the brothers Floris and Oscar Jespers, was a pivotal figure among the emerging generation of avant-garde artists in Antwerp. As a sharp critic, his judgment was decisive, but he also was a committed promoter and patron of contemporary artists. In particular, he highlighted early works by Jespers.