Title: Winter in Flanders
Medium: oil and canvas
Dimensions: Height: 84 cm (33 in) Width: 96 cm (37.7 in)
Collection: Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium
Inscriptions: Signature and date bottom left: Valerius de Saedeleer / 1927
What I like about this painting:
I like the bold color of the houses against the snow. Viewing the farmstead through the zen-like simplicity of the dark trees is soothing. I particularly like way he portrays green-golden sky of an afternoon in a dark northern winter.
This is a pleasant, relaxing painting.
About the artist, via Wikipedia:
Valerius de Saedeleer (4 August 1867 – 16 September 1941) was a Belgian landscape painter, whose works are informed by a symbolist and mystic-religious sensitivity and the traditions of 16th-century Flemish landscape painting. He was one of the main figures in the so-called first School of Latem which in the first decade of the 20th century introduced modernist trends in Belgian painting and sculpture.
From 1914 de Saedeleer and his family lived in Wales as refugees from the First World War. Together with his family and the family of his friend George Minne he lived a number of years in Cwmystwyth. Gustave van de Woestijne and George Minne and their families also resided in Wales during the war. The family de Saedeleer and other Belgian artists were brought to Wales by David, Gwendoline and Margaret Davies. The two Davies sisters were best known for putting together one of the great British art collections of the 20th Century. The initiative of the Davies family in inviting Belgian artists to Wales was prompted by their expectation that these artists would be able to inject local cultural life with their expertise.
De Saedeleer’s daughters studied weaving, binding and tapestry at Aberystwyth. The second daughter Elisabeth became acquainted with William Morris‘ daughter Mary from whom she learned tapestry weaving. The family became so accomplished at weaving that they even started giving courses in the craft themselves. De Saedeleer may have undertaken some conservation work on items from the Aberystwyth University Collection. He also exhibited his paintings of local views in the University’s Alexandra Hall and was able to earn a living from his art.
De Saedeleer remained in Wales until 1920, when he moved to Etikhove. In 1933 he became an honorary citizen of the city of Aalst. In 1937 he moved to Leupegem. The work of de Saedeleer became gradually more decorative and he developed a luxuriant and whimsical calligraphy. His compositions often included a row of trees in the foreground, a Japanese-style effect with which he had already experimented before the war. This device is clear in the composition Winter in Flanders. He was also an accomplished colourist.
Credits and Attributions:
Wikimedia Commons contributors, “File:Valerius De Saedeleer – Winter in Flanders.jpg,” Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Valerius_De_Saedeleer_-_Winter_in_Flanders.jpg&oldid=402112537 (accessed February 12, 2021).
Wikipedia contributors, “Valerius de Saedeleer,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Valerius_de_Saedeleer&oldid=1005028837 (accessed February 12, 2021).