Maleperduys | MSK Gent
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Maleperduys, 1920

  • tempera, canvas
  • 110 x 131.5 cm
  • Inv. 2009-C

Public Domain

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In 1920, Frits Van den Berghe lived for a short time with Gustave De Smet in Blaricum, a village east of Amsterdam. The house that De Smet and his wife lived in was called ‘Malpertuus’. The name Malpertuus, or Malpertuis, was already known in the Middle Ages, in particular as the castle of Reynard the Fox. Later, a great many inns received the name. The word quickly became a synonym for a welcoming place of refuge and it is therefore very appropriate for the house in which De Smet lived as an exile during WWI. In this picture, we see Gustave and Gusta De Smet by a table which forms the centre of a symmetrically built up composition. The colour is subordinate to the arrangement of the forms and is accentuated here and there with meticulously applied coloured accents that enliven the sombre, night like atmosphere. Van den Berghe did not paint this work using heavy paint materials, as usual, but with a thin tempera, so that the drawn forms are more visible. The work illustrates his evolution towards constructive expressionism in which the influence of French cubism is more obviously apparent.


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

Title Maleperduys
Date 1920
Period 20th century
Signatures, inscriptions, and markings signature and year bottom right: FVBerghe 1920
Collection paintings AAT
Object type tempera paintings AAT
Inventory number 2009-C
Acquisition credit long-term loan
Vlaamse Gemeenschap
Current whereabouts Work on display
IIIF Manifest
Art & Architecture Thesaurus 300189808 figures (representations) AAT
300124520 interior views AAT
Keywords Iconclass 22C8 shadow Iconclass
22C9 darkness Iconclass
24B moon as celestial body Iconclass
24B6 moonlight Iconclass
25G plants; vegetation Iconclass
31A235 sitting figure Iconclass
31A71 male sex; man Iconclass
31A72 female sex; woman Iconclass
31AA235 sitting figure - AA - female human figure Iconclass
31D14 adult man Iconclass
31D15 adult woman Iconclass
41A housing Iconclass
41A1 civic architecture; edifices; dwellings Iconclass
41A16 rural housing, e.g. country-house, villa, cottage Iconclass
41A2 interior of the house Iconclass
41A33 window Iconclass
41A421 curtains Iconclass
41A711 table Iconclass
41A721 chairs (furniture forms) Iconclass
41A731 case furniture Iconclass
41A771 container of metal: bucket, can, canister, drum, tin, etc. Iconclass
41A773 container of ceramics: jar, jug, pot, vase Iconclass
41A774 container of glass: bottle, jar, vase Iconclass
41B214 chimney Iconclass
41B2141 chimney-piece, mantelpiece Iconclass
41C2542 cooker Iconclass
41C71 alcoholic drinks Iconclass
41D221(HAT) head-gear: hat Iconclass
46C125 bicycle Iconclass
48B2 artist in non-work situation Iconclass
48C5142 picture within picture Iconclass
49L8 inscription Iconclass
61B historical persons (portraits and scenes from the life) Iconclass
61B2 historical persons Iconclass
61B2(GUSTAVE DE SMET) historical person (GUSTAVE DE SMET) Iconclass
61BB2 historical persons - BB - woman Iconclass
61BB2(GUSTA DE SMET) historical person (GUSTA DE SMET) - BB - woman Iconclass
61D(GOOI) geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc. (names of cities and villages excepted) (GOOI) Iconclass
61D(NETHERLANDS) geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc. (names of cities and villages excepted) (NETHERLANDS) Iconclass
61E(BLARICUM) names of cities and villages (BLARICUM) Iconclass
61F(MALPERTUUS) names of historical buildings, sites, streets, etc. (MALPERTUUS) Iconclass
83(Reynard the Fox) (scenes from) specific works of literature (Reynard the Fox) Iconclass
School / Style Expressionist (style) AAT
Modernist AAT
Vlaams expressionisme in Europese context 1900-1930 (tentoonstelling Gent, Museum voor Schone Kunsten, 10 maart - 10 juni 1990) / Robert Hoozee, Piet Boyens, Inge Henneman, Helke Lauwaert. - Gent : Snoeck-Ducaju & Zoon, 1990 ; Gent : Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent, 1990 (cat. 87 (ill.))
Retrospectieve Frits Van den Berghe 1883-1939 (tentoonstelling Oostende, Museum voor Moderne Kunst, 16 oktober 1999 - 13 februari 2000) / Piet Boyens, Gilles Marquenie, Willy Van Den Bussche. - Oostende : Provinciaal Museum voor Moderne Kunst (Oostende), 1999 (cat. 40)
Frits Van den Berghe 1883-1939 : Met een volledig geïllustreerde kritische en gedocumenteerde catalogus van de schilderijen, gouaches, tekeningen en illustraties / Piet Boyens, Patrick Derom, Gilles Marquenie. - Antwerpen : Pandora, 1999 (p. 385, nr. 220 (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. 220, cat. 250 (ill.))
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