Contemporary, Modern Art and Old Masters

Auction 175 - 7 March 2020

Contemporary, Modern Art and Old Masters Lot 171

Edgard Tytgat (Belgium / 1879 - 1957)
Kneeling young man holding a young naked woman in his arms (1928)


€ 44 000 - 60 000

"Retrospectieve Edgard Tytgat" PvSK, Brussels 1931, cat. nr. 275
"Edgard Tytgat. Beschrijvende catalogus van zijn geschilderde oeuvre, opgemaakt met de medewerking van Mevrouw Gisèle Ollinger-Zinque" Albert Dasnoy, Laconti S.A., Brussels 1965, cat. nr. 594
coll. J. Greshoff, Brussels


When viewing this watercolor, we spectators seem to peek inside an intimate scene. A warm, tender and loving event unfolds before our eyes. Yet we are not sure of what is happening here, nor of what precedes, nor of what will follow. This romantic and intimate scene is surrounded by the safety and privacy of the blue curtains. The decor has almost brothel-like allures. It is a burgeoning scene that focuses on sexuality, it is lovely lust. The inscrutable whole is intriguing. This characterizes Tytgat's oeuvre, a succession of enigmatic stories with a multitude of scenarios. Contradiction and ambiguity are distinctive. His art appears to be sweet, but is never naive. It is grand in its mystery.

With his very personal artistic style, Edgard Tytgat was one of a kind in the Belgian art scene of his time. The artist, who dreamed of practicing the modest profession of clockmaker, developed a unique and inimitable oeuvre that many attempted to define. Emile Langui said: "Writing about Tytgat is like catching butterflies". Tytgat was different, did things another way and his work was often wrongly described as childish, naive and folkloric. His seemingly innocent interiors, fairs and circuses were populated by artists, clowns, myth figures and couples in love. The world he created had a lot of depth and ironic elements and subtlety revealed much more than a first glance suggested.

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