Fernand Khnopff (1858 - 1921)
11 December 2018 - 17 March 2019
Petit Palais, Paris, FR
A rare artist, this Belgian master of Symbolism has not had a retrospective in Paris for nearly forty years.
The exhibition brings together a hundred emblematic pieces of the complex aesthetics of Fernand Khnopff, who was a painter, draftsman, engraver, sculptor and the director of his personal work. The artist plays with themes, from portraits to dreamlike memories, from fantasy to the nude, and invites reverie and a meditation on identity. Khnopff's major works will be counterpointed with those of artistic contemporaries, from Gustave Moreau to Klimt and Von Stuck, which allows the situation of him within the context of 'fin-de-siècle Europe'.
The exhibition design attempts to re-create the initiatory pathway of the false dwelling that served as his workshop, like the one in Stoclet Palace in Brussels, where Belgian and Viennese aesthetics encountered each other. Non-chronological, it presents instead the major themes that permeate Khnopff’s work: from landscapes, portraits of children and reveries inspired by the Flemish Primitives to memories of Bruges-la-Morte and the complex use of photography, all the way to personal mythologies under the sign of Hypnos.