Constant Permeke | the artist

The artist Constant Permeke
Born July 31 1886, Antwerpen, Belgium.
Died Jan 4 1952, Ostend, .
Style and technique of the artist: Painting,

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Permeke's work was an extension of his personality. A giant, he worked in large studios on large canvases; even his drawings are large. His character was uncouth and quick-tempered yet gentle and generous. He was direct and single-minded. During his early years as a painter Permeke, like Gustave De Smet and Frits Van den Berghe, painted in the luminist late impressionist style. But in 1913 Maternity, depicting a mother breast-feeding her child, done in areas of flat colour in a strong silhouetted pattern, shows a break from the tradition. Then, during the English years, a number of canvases, including True Stories of 1915 and above all The Stranger of 1916, in which the later Permeke is already latent, show that in isolation, cut off from new continental art currents, Permeke had found his own path to a new way of painting.


Permeke, who came from Antwerp but lived most of his life in the area of Ostend, was a leading figure in Belgian art circles. Inspired perhaps by Van Gogh, he took as his subjects humble men and women...

Many works online

Constant Permeke is the most singular and the most monumental Flemish Expressionist. In contrast to the other Expressionists, Permeke made many large drawings. They are typically drawn with great precision and sophistication, like this ‘Sleeping Peasant’...