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Modest Huys

( 1874 - 1932 )

Radiant Autumn – Wakken


Modest Huys

( 1874 - 1932 )

Radiant Autumn – Wakken

  • Medium: Oil on canvas

  • Signed: Signed lower right and further signed, titled and dated verso

  • Size: 20.00" x 24.00" (50.8cm x 61.0cm)

  • Framed Size: 28.00" x 32.00" (71.1cm x 81.3cm)

  • Dated: 1924

Additional information

  • Condition: Very good original condition

  • Provenance: Private collection - Belgium

  • Literature: Wakken is a village and deelgemeente in Dentergem municipality, in the Belgian province of West Flanders. The village is located near the confluence of the rivers Lys and Mandel.

Modest Huys Biography

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Modest Huys Paintings

Modest Huys (25 October 1874, in Zulte – 30 January 1932, in Zulte) was a Flemish impressionist and luminist painter, who is regarded as one of the greatest Belgian painters of the 20th century.

From a young age, Modest Huys worked in his father's painting and decorating business and later studied at the "Gentse Nijverheidschool" (Ghent Industrial School). In 1891 or 1892, he came into contact with Emile Claus, who encouraged his artistic inclinations. In 1900, he enrolled at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts where his teachers were Eugène Joors and Frans Van Leemputten but he never completed his studies. It was about this time that he became lifelong friends with the author Stijn Streuvels.

In 1902, he debuted at the Sint-Lucasgilde in Kortrijk and began to exhibit more widely. He spent time in Meetjesland, painting landscapes. From 1905, he participated in the exhibitions of Vie et Lumière, a luminist group, along with Claus, James Ensor and Jenny Montigny.

At the outbreak of World War I, he fled to the Netherlands, although he returned in 1915and moved about as the war dictated. His home and studio were destroyed in 1918 and he ended up living with a forester near Brakel. After the armistice, he painted scenes of the devastation at the front, then settled in Wakken the following year.

Modest Huys again began to exhibit extensively, including shows at the Paris Salon and the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh. During this period, his colours became darker and the contrasts harsher, approaching expressionism. In 1926, he built his ideal home-studio, the "Zonnehuys" (Sun House), in Zulte. Several taverns in the area claim to have frescoes that he painted. A square in Olsene (a district of Zulte) was named after him in 1999.

Modest Huys Paintings

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