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Farmer (or The Answer), 1911

  • oil paint, canvas
  • 26 x 33 cm
  • Inv. 1948-AC

Public Domain

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In his memoires, entitled Karel en ik [Karel (his brother) and myself], Gustave Van de Woestyne described the peasant portrayed here as ‘a little man’ who came to work in their garden every evening. ‘One couldn’t bear to watch what he did, only listen to what he said.’ And this is how Van de Woestyne painted him, busy telling his story with an animated expression on his face. The style in which his head is painted is reminiscent of the farmer’s heads by Peter Bruegel the Elder. On the back of the painting Van de Woestyne wrote a second title, The Answer. In this way he probably wanted to give the painting a more profound meaning. After all, it was in the simplicity of rural life that the artist found the answer to the existential questions he himself was struggling with.


Gustave Van de Woestyne RKD VIAF Wikidata
Ghent 1881 - Uccle 1947
painters (artists)AAT

Title Farmer (or The Answer)
Date 1911
Period 20th century
Signatures, inscriptions, and markings signature and year bottom right: G.VAN DE / WOESTYNE / 1911
title, year and monogram on the reverse: LA REPONSE. / anno 1911. G.V.D.W.
Collection paintings AAT
Object type oil paintings (visual works) AAT
Inventory number 1948-AC
Acquisition credit gift
De Smet, Jean (coll.)
Current whereabouts Work on display
IIIF Manifest
Art & Architecture Thesaurus 300189808 figures (representations) AAT
300055865 symbolism (artistic concept) AAT
Keywords Iconclass 25I3 farm or solitary house in landscape Iconclass
31A71 male sex; man Iconclass
31B6213 looking sideways Iconclass
31B6232 mouth slightly open Iconclass
31D14 adult man Iconclass
41A17 farm (building) Iconclass
41D221(CAP) head-gear: cap Iconclass
46A14 farmers Iconclass
46A222 rural life Iconclass
480 symbolic representations, allegories and emblems ~ art; 'Arte' (Ripa) Iconclass
52E1 Response, Answer, Solution Iconclass
61E(LAETHEM-SAINT-MARTIN) names of cities and villages (LAETHEM-SAINT-MARTIN) Iconclass
School / Style Symbolism (artistic concept) AAT
Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent : Catalogus schilderkunst ; Deel I: 14de - 18de eeuw ; Deel II: 19de - 20ste eeuw / Robert Hoozee, Johan De Smet, Bruno Fornari, Ruth Monteyne. - Gent : Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent, 2007 (dl. II, p. 364-365 (ill.))
Gustave Van de Woestyne (tentoonstelling Gent, Museum voor Schone Kunsten, 27 maart - 27 juni 2010) / Robert Hoozee, Cathérine Verleysen, Piet Boyens, Marc Somers, Huguette Van de Woestyne-Vanagt. - Gent : Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent, 2010 ; Brussel : Mercatorfonds, 2010 (nr. 39)
Nervia / Sint-Martens-Latem : Koppelteken = Nervia / Laethem-Saint-Martin : Traits d'union (tentoonstelling Elsene (Brussel), Museum van Elsene, 22.10.2015 - 17.01.2016) / Françoise Eeckman, Cathérine Verleysen, Michel De Reymaeker, Françoise Osteaux. - Bruxelles : Editions Racine, 2015 (p. 139)
Belgische schone : Ensor tot Magritte ; Hoogtepunten uit de verzameling van het Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent (tentoonstelling Laren, Singer Laren, 16.06 - 30.08.2015) / Johan De Smet, Jan Rudolph De Lorm. - Gent : Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent, 2015 ; Laren : Singer Laren, 2015 ; Heule : Uitgeverij Snoeck, 2015 (cat. 33 (ill. p. 54))
Feast of Fools : Bruegel herontdekt = Bruegel rediscovered (tentoonstelling Gaasbeek, Kasteel van Gaasbeek, 07.04.2019 - 28.07.2019) / Hans Devisscher, Marieke Debeuckelaere, Leen Huet, Luc Vanackere, Peter Verhelst, Luk Lambrecht, Lieze Eneman. - Gaasbeek : Kasteel van Gaasbeek, 2019 ; Gent : Snoeck, 2019 (p. 63)
Symbolisme in Vlaanderen : De eerste generatie kunstenaars in Sint-Martens-Latem (tentoonstelling 's-Hertogenbosch, Het Noordbrabants Museum, 10.07 - 09.10.2022) / Piet Boyens, Helewise Berger. - Zwolle : WBOOKS, 2022 ; 's-Hertogenbosch : Het Noordbrabants Museum, 2022 (p. 85)
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