An oil on canvas measuring 100X81 cm representing the village of Golling in the Austrian Tyrol near Salzburg signed lower right in pink and countersigned and dated 1922 on the back. This work was exhibited in 1967 for the retrospective Henri Ramah (1887-1947)
The artist Ramah, whose real name is Henri François Joseph Raemaeker, was born in Saint Josse-ten-Noode in Belgium in 1887. The young orphan developed a taste for typography and drawing from childhood with his bookbinder uncle. He was introduced to drawing at the École Normale des Arts du Dessin in his hometown in the Brussels region, although some sources say he was self-taught. The painter and engraver François Beauck, self-taught and specialist in landscapes and portraits, encouraged the young Ramah to pursue a career in art. From 1904, then just seventeen years old, he signed his first paintings and engravings under the pseudonym that we know him today.
Ramah first became known for his engravings: a member of the visual arts movement Le Sillon alongside Henrik Wouters, Willem Paerels and Fernand Schirren, he exhibited several series of engravings on various themes.
The artist is then distinguished by his painting. After an impressionist period, he exhibited his works in the Brussels gallery Georges Giroux, a veritable temple of modernism. Ramah acquired great notoriety there as a figurehead of Brabant Fauvism and was inspired by the work of Henrik Wouters, a sculptor and Fauvist painter of Belgian origin who was contemporary to him. Under the influence of French artists such as André Lhote, he moved towards an expressionist pictorial style at the end of the First World War and his work took a constructivist and post-cubist turn.
Ramah painted landscapes and still lifes, but he is particularly renowned for his portraits of political figures, artists and writers of his time. From 1916, he lost interest in color to move towards painting with a geometrical tendency, as illustrated in his famous painting The Painter (1922), a self-portrait in shades of gray and dark ochres and with straight lines in which the painter surrounded by curious spectators seems to want to take the observer of the painting as a model.
Ramah is regularly invited to exhibit his works at the Le Centaure art gallery, located in Brussels, where Flemish artists of the early 20th century met. His work denotes then by austere colors and it is only from the 1930s that Ramah engages in a more dazzling and colorful expressionism. Despite rave reviews from his contemporaries, Henri Raemaeker died in Brussels in 1947 in poverty.
3 800 €