Belgian 18621926, worked in France 18971926
Émile Verhaeren in his study (Rue du Moulin) (1892)
(Émile Verhaeren dans son cabinet de travail (rue du Moulin))
oil on canvas
86.0 x 75.6 cm
Royal Collection, Belgium
Loaned to the Archives et Musée de la Littérature, Brussels
Photo: Vincent Everarts Photographie
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Émile Verhaeren, renowned Belgian poet and critic, was a leading contributor to the avant-garde journals La Jeune Belgique and L'Art moderne. It was Verhaeren, a lifelong friend of Théo Van Rysselberghe, who encouraged the Belgian painter to take up Neo-Impressionism in 1888. The key to this painting's power lies in a small detail in the foreground – the writer's pen, laid casually upon the desk between author and artist, signifying that this is not a portrait of a literary figure at work but, rather, is a study of and homage to the creative dialogue between two great minds that had led to this moment.