viernes, 5 de agosto de 2016


Christa Zaat

Georges de Feure (French artist) 1868 - 1943
Le Fruit Defendu, 1895
gouache on paper laid onto canvas
72.5 x 59 cm. (28½ x 22¾ in.)
signed and dated van Féure Bruges 95 lower centre
private collection

Catalogue Note Sotheby's
Among the rare works created by de Feure during his sojourns in Bruges, this work is one of the most unusual for its symbolism and modernism. In the foreground, partially obscured by a floral border, a nude woman, Eve-like, holds the gaze of the spectator and proffers a peach she has already bitten. This fruit and its rich juice evoke the biblical temptation in Paradise, and mankind's ensuing fall from grace.

In the background, in the town streets moves a procession of nude women, dancing, applauding and caressing each other. Some wear black stockings while others brandish smoking amphoras above their heads. In front of them, a group of civil and religious dignitaries wave flags and an incense burner. An old bearded man and two naked boys with linked arms form the vanguard of the extraordinary march.

In creating this provocative work, De Feure was possibly inspired by two historical events associated with Bruges: the procession of Saint-Sang that occurs on the day of the Ascension in commemoration of the relic brought back in 1149 from the Second Crusade by Thierry d'Alsace, Count of Flanders; and a group of Anabaptists brutally persecuted in the sixteenth century. The Anabaptists believed that at the apocalypse, God would baptise them in fire (represented by the smoking amphoras in the composition), and consumed by religious fervor, they ran naked through the city streets. Whatever the veracity of these potential sources, De Feure accentuates the sexual and sensual, using the duality of the concept of blood and the underlying theme of Original Sin and redemption.

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