charcoal drawing: 129,2 cm x 151 cm

In addition to paintings in oils, Constant Permeke did large-format drawings in charcoal or mixed media on paper, and he considered these of equal worth. This sleeping farmer is a striking example. In this work Permeke restricts himself to a few vigorous outlines. This simplification and the omission of any setting emphasise the monumentality of the figure, which is enhanced even more by the expressive distortion. The artist did not create a caricature, however, but a timeless icon of life itself. In this respect he was undoubtedly inspired by primitive art, which excited a great deal of interest in the 1920s, and the way it was interpreted by artists such as Picasso. Resting Farmer probably dates from 1929, the year the artist settled permanently in Jabbeke near Ostend.