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© Whitford Fine Art 2017

Floris Jespers (Belgian 1889-1965)

In the second half of the 1920s, Floris Jespers was connected to Le Centaure gallery. This period is generally regarded as the high point of his career. He was greatly influenced by the exhibition of Marc Chagall at Le Centaure, and by the latter's stay in Sint-Martens-Latem. This contact undoubtedly confirmed Jespers in his choice of a highly monumental visual language and use of colour. His fascination for clowns and pierrots can be traced back to the influence of great Netherlandish and Flemish painters such as Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Breughel and of course James Ensor.

Like so many other artists at Le Centaure, Jespers was also fascinated by the lives of native peoples. This interest was later expressed in a Cubist-oriented visual language, albeit without showing any explicit interest in ethnography.