Close ups

Belgian 1862–1926, worked in France 1897–1926
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
The reproduction of this artistic work is for personal, non-commercial use only and is protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights.

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.