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Man in the Universe, 1933

  • oil paint, canvas
  • 87.7 x 73 cm
  • Inv. 1986-D

Public Domain

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The confrontation between man and woman is a recurring theme in Frits Van den Berghe's work. From 1928 onwards, the human couple enters into an ever fascinating, ever changing dialogue - the meeting of two human children, driven to each other by the demands of nature. The struggle of the sexes, like a dark urge, determines the keynote of many of his works. In Man in the Universe, he brings together the motifs that have dominated his work for years: the naked woman, the bare tree and, in the middle, the robust, somewhat stocky figure of the man. Van den Berghe gives the journey through the universe the meaning of an eternal quest for the essence of the woman.


Frits Van den Berghe RKD VIAF Wikidata
Ghent 1883 - Ghent 1939
painters (artists)AAT

Title Man in the Universe
Date 1933
Period 20th century
Signatures, inscriptions, and markings signature and year bottom right: FVBerghe 33
Collection paintings AAT
Object type oil paintings (visual works) AAT
Inventory number 1986-D
Acquisition credit gift
Faelens-Van de Voorde, Léon & Eugenia
Current whereabouts Work currently not on display
IIIF Manifest
Art & Architecture Thesaurus 300056485 fantastic art AAT
Keywords Iconclass 21D water (one of the four elements) Iconclass
3 Human Being, Man in General Iconclass
24 the heavens (celestial bodies) Iconclass
25F9 mis-shapen animals; monsters Iconclass
25G plants; vegetation Iconclass
25G3 trees Iconclass
31A221 head (human) Iconclass
31A2211 face Iconclass
31A2212 eyes Iconclass
31A2213 ears Iconclass
31A2214 mouth Iconclass
31A22621 hair Iconclass
31A231 standing figure Iconclass
31A42 human beings (legendary or not) of abnormal proportions, size, strength, etc. Iconclass
31A511111 distortion Iconclass
31A71 male sex; man Iconclass
31A72 female sex; woman Iconclass
31AA the (nude) human figure; 'Corpo humano' (Ripa) - AA - female human figure Iconclass
31AA231 standing figure - AA - female human figure Iconclass
31AA511111 distortion - AA - (for) women Iconclass
31B6213 looking sideways Iconclass
31D14 adult man Iconclass
31D15 adult woman Iconclass
49D36 circle (~ planimetry, geometry) Iconclass
51A11 the Universe Iconclass
School / Style Expressionist (style) AAT
Modernist AAT
D'Ensor à Magritte dans les collections du Musée de Gand (exposition Lodève, Musée de Lodève-Hôtel du Cardinal de Fleury, 19 novembre 2004 - 27 février 2005) / Maïthé Vallès-Bled, Robert Hoozee, Johan De Smet, Helke Lauwaert, Bruno Fornari. - Lodève : Musée de Lodève, 2004 ; Milano : Mazzotta, 2004 (p. 268-269, cat. 73)
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. 68-69 (ill.))
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. 52 (ill. p.17))
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