Vintage painting by Gustave Camus depicting a woman and a child, 1943


About this vintage design furniture

Exquisite oil on canvas by Belgian painter Gustave Camus, signed and dated in the lower right corner. The work introduces us as spectators to a private and intimate environment, in a loving moment of learning. At the beginning of the 19th century, a new term emerged within painting that responded to a theme that dealt with daily, family and domestic life: intimacy. Although the concept did not appear until this time, the topic had already been discussed in the History of Art for a long time. Already in the Renaissance there were many women portrayed in interior scenes; Even earlier, the religious image of the Annunciation had portrayed the Virgin Mary in the solitude of her home. But it was not until the 17th century in Holland when this genre was definitively established, with Johannes Vermeer as its greatest exponent. From then on it experienced great development. In France, portraits of female figures in private rooms became popular in the 18th century, and throughout the following centuries, paintings of domestic scenes. Intimate painting has always shown a clear predilection for the feminine universe, for the representation of women in everyday, intimate moments and family life, such as “tender childhood.” Precisely the aim of intimacy is to provide a certain transcendence to an everyday moment in the lives of the characters, in this case the woman and her little one. These two figures are enough to fill the entire scene, although there is hardly any interrelation between the characters despite their close relationship (intimacy tends towards individualism). In this type of works, time seems to pass very slowly, creating a feeling of stillness and a silence that pervades everything. Her mother seems absorbed, in an introspective attitude, locked in her own thoughts, with her gaze lowered and her face calm, while the little one is immersed in the story that she is holding with the help of her mother. As for the technique, the expressionist side of the author, who lived through the rise of the movement, is demonstrated. He uses strong and expressive colors, saturated and dark, with a quick and material brushstroke of exaggerated and very marked strokes. The spots of color merge into the canvas itself, taking shape and coherence when viewed from a distance. He also highlights the study of light, because, although the light source is not represented, he bathes the scene from the right, which causes the left half of the face to be shadowed. The original thing about the painting is that it is the viewer himself who must finish giving the ultimate meaning to the work according to his own subjectivity. It preserves the original frame, characteristic of the period, made of richly carved wood and with complicated details, such as the openwork that is arranged symmetrically in the corners. About the Author Gustave Camus, born on April 4, 1914 in Châtelet and died on June 9, 1984 in Mons, was a Belgian expressionist painter. At the age of 14 he became an apprentice house painter, but he left this activity as soon as his art allowed him to live, in 1939. He followed the drawing lessons of the sculptor Eugène Paulus at the Charleroi Industrial School (1930-1934) and van Leon Van den Houten at the University of Labor (1932-1937). He founded the group Living Art in the Land of Charleroi (1933) with Georges Wasterlain. After the war, critics affirmed his talent and he became a professor of painting and drawing at the Academy of Fine Arts of Mons (1951-1976), of which he became director. He is related to Impressionism, although his work is usually closer to Fauvism. In the 1940s he made a trip to Brittany, which had a profound impact on his work, marking the beginning of his “second stage.” Dimensions: 125 x 106 x 7 cm. / 98 x 78 cm. Reference : 305604

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106 cm
125 cm
7 cm
Secondary colour
Main material

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