Henry de Groux (Brussels 1867 - Brussels 1930)
signed and dated: 1908 HENRY DE GROUX
coloured chalks on paper laid on canvas
648 x 495 mm
Peter Nahum at Leicester Galleries
Private Collection, Lancashire, England
Beaux Arts, no. 9, Paris, January 1984, p. 55 [illustrated]
Jean Cassou, The Concise Encyclopedia of Symbolism, Hertfordshire, Omega Books, 1984, p. 82 [illustrated]
Henry de Groux, maître de la démesure, Namur-Paris, Musée Félicien Rops, 2019, p. 11, no. 6 [illustrated]
The figure of Lohengrin, a German knight of the Holy Grail analogous to the ‘Knight of the Swan’, is readily identifiable by his swan-topped helmet. The hero was depicted twice by de Groux: firstly, in the present portrait, charged with flame-like brushwork and psychological intensity; and secondly, in a somewhat lighter portrait exhibited at Galerie Matthieu Néouze, Paris, in the 2021 exhibition “Henry de Groux, 1866-1930, Obsessions and Symphonies”. The Arthurian legend was adapted by Richard Wagner into the form of a Romantic opera of the same name in 1848 and thus provided de Groux with source material. Set within Brabant, de Groux’s home and modern-day Belgium, the legend may well have inspired a sense of national pride within the artist, who had by this point moved to Paris.
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