collection

1955-F

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.