Oil on canvas
Signed left below E. Claus
Exhibition: Label Galérie Saint John.
In 1883 Claus moved to cottage Zonneschijn ('Sunshine') in Astene, near Deinze (East-Flanders, Belgium), where he stayed until his death. From his living room, he enjoyed a beautiful view across the river Lys. The space and light of the country house clearly inspired him.
As a celebrity, he became a friend of the family with amongst others the French sculptor Auguste Rodin and the naturalist Émile Zola, and with the Belgian novelists and poets Cyriel Buysse, Emile Verhaeren, Pol de Mont and Maurice Maeterlinck.
Claus is considered to be the pioneer of Belgian luminism. In 1904, he founded the society Vie et Lumière ('life and light') and became known as the 'sun painter' and the 'painter of the Lys'.
On 14 June 1924, Claus died in Astene. His last words were: "Bloemen, bloemen, bloemen …” ('Flowers, flowers, flowers'). The day before his death, he had painted a pastel of a bouquet of flowers, sent to him by Queen Elisabeth of Belgium. Claus is buried in his own garden in Astene and a street is named after him in Brussels.
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