The Monster | MSK Gent
Ga naar inhoud (Enter)

The Monster, ca. 1928

  • oil paint, paper, plywood
  • 49.5 x 59.2 cm
  • Inv. 1992-I

Public Domain

Download PDF

For Frits Van den Berghe, 1928 was a time of passionate, spirited and bold creation. Although he continued to exhibit with his former companions, in his mind he ended the relationship with Latem and with expressionism. With The Monster, he entered the territory of a new reality beyond the real, the surreal. Eccentric creatures make their appearance. They represent man's fear of the mysteriousness of reality. During the same period, he also paints witches and devils, fantastic flower arrangements and 'monstrous' trees in a magical green light, heralding his later surrealist works. Here, the monster is the embodiment of the menacing power of the subconscious. It is represented here as a muscular weightlifter. Its bared upper body flows into its oversized head. The monster is surrounded by puzzled characters floating through the indeterminate space. Their doubting minds are depicted in a lackadaisical composition, a nervous touch and an unusual pallet of pink, purple and green.


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

Title The Monster
Date ca. 1928
Period 20th century
Signatures, inscriptions, and markings signatures (names) bottom right: FVBerghe
Collection paintings AAT
Object type oil paintings (visual works) AAT
Inventory number 1992-I
Acquisition credit gift
Mees-Desplenter, Lydie
Current whereabouts Work currently not on display
IIIF Manifest
Art & Architecture Thesaurus 300056485 fantastic art AAT
Keywords Iconclass 25F9 mis-shapen animals; monsters Iconclass
3 Human Being, Man in General Iconclass
31A22 parts of the human body (skeleton excepted) Iconclass
31A221 head (human) Iconclass
31A2211 face Iconclass
31A2212 eyes Iconclass
31A2213 ears Iconclass
31A2214 mouth Iconclass
31A22621 hair 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
31AA511111 distortion - AA - (for) women Iconclass
31D14 adult man Iconclass
31D15 adult woman Iconclass
32A6 physiognomy Iconclass
43C371 gymnastic exercises with sticks, dumb-bells, etc. Iconclass
School / Style Expressionist (style) AAT
Modernist 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. 67 (ill.))
onder vrienden : 225 jaar verzamelaars rond het Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent (tentoonstelling Gent, Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent, 25.11.2023 - 28.04.2024) / Johan De Smet, Frederica Van Dam, Willy Van der Gucht, Manfred Sellink. - Gent : Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent, 2023 ; Gent : De Vrienden van het Museum, 2023 (p. 238, cat. 275 (ill.))
Do you have any suggestions, questions or information about this work?
Write us,