Léon Spilliaert ( Ostend 1881 - Brussels 1946 )

Léon Spilliaert was born on July 28, 1881 in Oostende, Belgium. His father had his own barbershop in Oostende. Léon started attending school at the O.L.V. College. At age 18 Léon Spilliaert decided to sign up for the Academy of Arts in Bruges but to his own disappointment this didn't was what he wanted so he already resigned after a couple of monthséon.
Spilleaert was a Flemish Symbolist who moved toward a form of Expressionism and whose style sometimes recalls de Chirico. The son of an Ostend perfumer, his talent for drawing emerged in childhood and was constantly exercised. In 1902 he met Verhaeren with whom he struck up a lasting friendship. In Paris, he discovered the work of Gaugin, van Gogh and Picasso. He settled in Brussels in 1935. He was a member of various artistic circles: the Independents, the Sillon, the Contemporary Art group and the Compagnons de l'Art. His very personal technique combined watercolour, gouache, pastel and sometimes crayon on cardboard or paper. He brings together a naïve sincerity, sometimes containing a degree of eroticism, a very pure line in arabesque, and decorative surfaces akin to those of the the Nabis.