Fernand Khnopff

June 21, 2011 at 11:46 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

Fernand Khnopff (1858 – 1921) was a Belgian Symbolist artist whose distinctive style would win him great success during his lifetime, and influenced other artists in the movement, most notably Gustav Klimt. While Realism was the most advanced style in Belgium at the start of his career, it wasn’t enough for Khnopff: Jeffery Howe states that he ‘insisted that art must suggest the essential mystery behind the visible facts and facades.’ His work is full of allegorical imagery and mystical allusions. He almost exclusively used his sister Marguerite as his model, and his relationship with her was intense and jealous. In many of his paintings of her, he accentuates her jawline to create a more androgynous appearance, blurring the boundaries between gender, creating a fluid sexuality. There’s an eeriness to his work, and a sense of isolation that is at once compelling and discomforting.

I Close the Door Upon Myself

I Close the Door Upon Myself

 

Caress of the Sphinx

Caress of the Sphinx

 

Sleeping Medusa

Sleeping Medusa

 

Memories

Memories

 

Head of a Woman

Head of a Woman

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