Constant Permeke



Not on display

Constant Permeke 1886–1952
Original title
De oogst
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 1280 × 1648 mm
frame: 1335 × 1705 × 55 mm
Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1958

Display caption

Permeke, who came from Antwerp but lived most of his life in the area of Ostend, was a leading figure in Belgian art circles. Inspired perhaps by Van Gogh, he took as his subjects humble men and women, often farmworkers or fishermen, and presented them as monumental figures, possessed of strength and dignity. His use of dark outlines and angular forms suggests a conscious primitivism and echoing of naive art.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

Constant Permeke 1886-1952

T00218 Harvest c.1924-5

Inscribed 'Permeke' b.r. and 'OOGST' on stretcher (the latter inscription apparently not in the artist's hand)
Oil on canvas, 50 3/8 x 64 7/8 (128 x 165)
Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1958
Prov: Herman Kruyder, Amersfoort; with van Lier, Amsterdam; with Obelisk Gallery, London, 1956; with Beaux Arts Gallery, London, 1957; Friends of the Tate Gallery
Repr: A Selection of Important Works suitable for Galleries (Beaux Arts Gallery, London 1957), pl.6; Studio, CLIX, 1960, p.112; Roger Avermaete, Permeke (Brussels 1970), p.316 in colour

This picture was previously dated 1927 but W. Van den Bussche, in charge of the Permeke Museum at Jabbeke, considers that it must have been painted somewhat earlier because of the angular stylisation of the figures, probably about 1924-5 and possibly even as early as 1923. As Permeke did not begin to work at Jabbeke until 1925, it may have been one of the paintings executed at Astene, which he visited regularly in the period 1922-4 in the company of Frits Van den Berghe. It was there that he first began to develop a passion for scenes of peasant life.

L. van Lier, who sold this picture to the Obelisk Gallery, says that it formerly belonged to the well-known Dutch Expressionist painter Herman Kruyder, who obtained it from Permeke in exchange for one of his own works and kept it until his death in 1935. W. Van den Bussche reports that one of Permeke's sons was unable to recall any contacts between his father and Kruyder; however he may have been too young at the time to remember.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.585, reproduced p.585

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