oilpainting: 122 cm x 169 cm

After the WWI, Gustave Van de Woestyne evolved towards Expressionism. He did not however subscribe to the dynamic approach to painting taken by most expressionists. Despite his distortions and simplifications, he retained his preference for a clear outline, a meticulous rendering of reality and a polished painting technique. As a result, his work from this period is related to Neo-realism and the Neue Sachlichkeit seen in Germany. His interest in mysticism, so characteristic of his symbolist period, was expressed in his later work in a number of paintings on explicitly religious themes, such as Christ in the Desert. Its composition is extremely frugal, being limited to just a few areas of colour. It is only the face and the hands that are shown in detail. The difference in colour and execution of the two hands is notable and accentuates their ritual gesture.