Brown Eyes and a Blue Flower | MSK Gent
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Brown Eyes and a Blue Flower, ca. 1905

  • pastel (material), gouache, paper
  • 160 mm
  • Inv. 1955-F

Public Domain

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In ‘Brown Eyes and a Blue Flower', Fernand Khnopff created one of his favourite image compositions: the face of a woman with her forehead cut off, in a tondo and close to the picture plane, so that the entire work looks almost like a mirror. The woman's face is inspired by Khnopff's beloved sister Marguerite, whom he saw as the ideal virgin. By cutting off her forehead, the artist showcased his belief in women's intellectual inferiority. The mysterious face, surrounded by a transparent veil, has a penetrating look. The cyclamen and pearl in the dish may be a nod to Saint Margaret of Antioch, the patron saint of expectant mothers. The original gold passe-partout represents a halo, which boosts the sacred character of the composition.


Fernand Khnopff RKD VIAF Wikidata
Grembergen 1858 - Brussels 1921
draftsmen (artists)AAT

Title Brown Eyes and a Blue Flower
Date ca. 1905
Period 20th century
Signatures, inscriptions, and markings signatures (names) bottom left: FERNAND KHNOPFF
monogram bottom right, outside the depiction: FK
Collection print room
Object type pastels (visual works) AAT
gouache AAT
Inventory number 1955-F
Acquisition credit purchase
Delmotte-Baertsoen (coll.)
Current whereabouts Work currently not on display
IIIF Manifest
Art & Architecture Thesaurus 300189808 figures (representations) AAT
Keywords Iconclass 11Q71441 chalice Iconclass
22C4(BLUE) colours, pigments, and paints: blue Iconclass
22C4(BROWN) colours, pigments, and paints: brown Iconclass
25G41 flowers Iconclass
25G41(CYCLAMEN) flowers (CYCLAMEN) Iconclass
31A2212 eyes Iconclass
31A72 female sex; woman Iconclass
31B3 dream Iconclass
31B4 hypnosis and suggestion Iconclass
31D15 adult woman Iconclass
49D36 circle (~ planimetry, geometry) Iconclass
51GG5 Invisibility Iconclass
54C4 Temptation; 'Tentatione' (Ripa) Iconclass
56F Desire and Aversion Iconclass
56F1 Desire; 'Desiderio' (Ripa) Iconclass
57A661 Spiritualization Iconclass
61B111 anonymous historical person portrayed alone Iconclass
61BB2 historical persons - BB - woman Iconclass
85 fables Iconclass
School / Style Symbolism (artistic concept) AAT
Fernand Khnopff (Fonds Richard de Moor). - [s.l.] : [s.n.], [s.a.]
Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent : Tekeningen, pastels en aquarellen; Inventaris / Moniek Nagels. - Gent : Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent, 1988 (p. 27)
Fin de Siècle : deel 1. Belgische tekeningen, pastels en prenten van 1885 tot 1905 ; deel 2. Combaz, Jo, Livemont : De verzameling L. Wittamer-De Camps (tentoonstelling Brussel, ASLK-Galerij, 15 maart - 2 juni 1991) / Marc Lambrechts, Anne Adriaens-Pannier, Pierre Baudson. - Brussel : ASLK, 1991 (p. 86-87, cat. 47 (ill.))
James Ensor : Schrecken ohne Ende (Ausstellung Wuppertal, Von der Heydt-Museum, 12. Oktober 2008 - 8. februar 2009) / Gerhard Finckh, Joachim Heusinger von Waldegg, Herwig Todts, Norbert Hostyn. - Wuppertal : Von der Heydt-Museum, 2008
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. 19 (ill. p. 39))
Fernand Khnopff : le maître de l'énigme ; L'album de l'exposition (Paris, Petit Palais, 11.12.2018 - 17.03.2019) / Michel Draguet, Dominique Morel. - Paris : Paris musées, 2018 (p. 93)
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