Jean Brusselmans (Brussels 1884-1953 Dildeek) was a Belgian painter, although he (also) started as an engraver and lithographer. He trained at the academy in Brussels. His early work (1900 to 1912) has characteristics of realism and impressionism. Initially, nature in and around Linkebeek, Belgium, was a source of inspiration for his large-scale landscapes. Between 1912 and 1920 he had a so-called Brabant fauvist period, partly influenced by his friendship with Auguste Oleffe, Rik Wouters and Ferdinand Schirren. This translates into his landscapes, still lifes and marines.
From 1920 onwards he developed a personal style characterized by geometric and stylized compositions and the use of large intensive areas of color and constructive brushstrokes. The structure of his work is deliberately strict and without relief, almost ascetic. The color of his works from that period is intense. His oeuvre has its own place within the work of the Flemish expressionists. However, he did not want to be included in that at all.
It was never his intention to express emotions through his art. For Brusselmans, his subjects were the starting point for experiments with lines, surfaces, colors and patterns. The sea, a snowy field, a shell or a vase of flowers offered him the excuse to play with colors, patterns and composition to his heart's content. In this respect, his work has more in common with that of Henri Matisse and Paul Cézanne than with the tradition of Belgian Expressionism.
In his work, painter Jean Brusselmans must be the only one who ever saw the attractiveness of blind waiting walls that were created when houses had to be built against each other during the crisis years. For example, in the work De Lente from 1935 that you see below, in which the blank wall is the center. "De Lente" collects almost everything that Brusselmans stood for and what still gives him a modern appearance today. He was an excellent colorist and used all kinds of shades and painting techniques to turn the spring landscape into a true play of colors.
Jean Brusselmans has always lived in relative poverty. Often his wife Marie's only income came from working from home as an embroiderer. After the war he could finally enjoy an early form of recognition. His works now hang in the Art Museum and Museum of Fine Arts.