William Degouve de Nuncques

William Degouve de Nuncques
William Degouve de Nuncques was a French-born Belgian Symbolist painter.

He was self-taught, though his style was influenced friends and roommates Jan Toorop and Henry de Groux.

His art was particularly shaped by his contact with the group of Symbolist poets to whom he was introduced by Juliette Massin, also an artist, who he married in 1894.

His paintings are often of representational scenes, landscapes, views of buildings and parks, but strongly tinged with a poetic softness and muted colors. He frequently chose to depict the subtle lighting of mist, dusk or night. He traveled and painted extensively in Austria, Italy and France and was at one time part of the group of painters known as “Les XX” (“The twenty”).

His painting The Pink House (image above, bottom left) is said to have inspired René Magritte’s famous Empire of Light paintings (also here). (Here’s an article about that notion on The Blue Lantern.)

Someone has put together a short video of some of Degouve de Nuncques’ work, set to a bit of Bach.

4 Replies to “William Degouve de Nuncques”

  1. I really like your blog, Charley. I have one request — I would really love it if you could indicate what medium the featured artists are using, as this information is often omitted, sadly. To me, it’s among the most interesting bits of info of all.

    1. Thanks, Karin.

      Thanks for your comment, Kathlyn. I do try to be conscious of medium, because it’s important to me as well, and I frequently make a point of researching and mentioning choice of media for illustrators and concept artists; where it’s a common question to distinguish between the use of digital and traditional media for readers who are interested primarily in one or the other.

      It’s often difficult for gallery and museum artists, though, in that many work in multiple media; and I would have to research and report the medium for individual pieces. As Karin so kindly points out, many of the sites linked from the articles include the medium information for individual works.

      To answer your question more directly about William Degouve de Nuncques, he works primarily in oil and pastel.

  2. Belgian Symbolists! My favourite. Delville, and especially Khnopff.

    That top piece is new to me. Eerily gorgeous. Would’ve supported my undergrad final paper quite well about representing the mind.

    Nice post Charley, as ever!

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