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date: 14 October 2019

Schirren, Ferdinandlocked

(b Antwerp, Nov 8, 1872; d Brussels, Feb 1944).

Extract

(b Antwerp, Nov 8, 1872; d Brussels, Feb 1944).

Belgian painter and sculptor. Born of Russian parents, he trained as a sculptor at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. In 1898 he was a co-founder of the group Labeur together with Auguste Oleffe, the Belgian painter Willem Paerels (1878–1962) and Louis Thévenet. One of his earliest sculptures is a mask of the Theosophist Madame Blavatsky (1898; see exh. cat., pl. 37). Around 1900 he suffered a nervous breakdown, after which he devoted himself largely to painting. His few sculptures are monumental and static, as in Eve with Apple (1910; see exh. cat., pl. 55).

In his painting Schirren was initially influenced by the Impressionism of Emile Claus and Théo Van Rysselberghe but he soon turned to Fauvism, producing such works as The Chestnut Trees (1915–16; see exh. cat., pl. 16). After about 1925 his style became more austere, as in The Study (1933...

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