mysterious mister gustave

foto of the baobab
something i haven’t heard in any art comments, is how gustave van de woestyne (belgium, 1881-1947) often painted trees in corners, in backgrounds and even in the front of his landscapes. moreover, the type of tree he paints is reminiscent of the african andansonia (common name baobab – aka as monkey bread tree – besides in africa also found in australia). san legend has it that god, in a wrathful moment, threw the tree down to earth, in an upside down mode, the tree roots pointing towards heaven.

spring, 1910
since gustave van de woestyne was a deep religious man, is it possible that he knew about this legend? in a funny kind of way, was van de woestyne adding an ironic tinge to everyday life, society and religion in his symbolic pictures? it is true that i walked through a pleasing retrospective exhibition (until june 26th in ghent), past symbolic, expressionist paintings, vastly smiling, and shedding a few prizing tears. walk with me.

farmers' wife, 1913

[artist's] children at the dinner table, 1919

gaston and his sister, 1923

the art group ‘first group of latem’, gustave van de woestyne third from the left, his brother karel van de woestijne (writer) second from the right (ca.1902 in sint-martens-latem, banks of the lys, ghent)

1 comment :

  1. Baobabs are very important for me so I looked at your posted pictures closely.