oilpainting: 147 cm x 115,5 cm

The Singing Statue by Frits Van den Berghe is clearly influenced by Max Ernsts écriture automatique. In 1927 Ernst exhibited his work at Le Centaure and a year later at L'Epoque. These galleries in Brussels also regularly exhibited Frits van den Berghes work. Here he almost certainly encountered Max Ernsts surrealistic material effects. The strange hollow-eyed figure in The Singing Statue probably refers to The Happy Prince, a fairytale by Oscar Wilde. The statue of the prince, once so happy but now dead, observes the misery of his people. Overcome with pity the prince calls on a swallow for help in distributing his riches among the poor. The bird pecks out the precious jewels that serve as the statues eyes and removes the gold that covers it, layer by layer. Although the statue has become unsightly it sings joyfully of the prosperity it has brought to its people.