Belgian artist Felix Alois Sauter created impressionistically spirited landscapes. Born in Antwerp, Sauter often depicted the countryside in the areas surrounding the city. Scenes of a mill at Lillo, on the river Scheldt, and the heathland and woods of the Kalmthout area feature prominently in his oeuvre.
Every work has spontaneous, plein air handling. Sauter uses broad, bold brushstrokes and lays the paint thickly onto the canvas, stirring up atmosphere through emotion and texture. His vivid and energetic use of colour allows him to capture the varying conditions of the Belgian countryside. Muted blues mingle with melancholy greys to capture the oncoming rainclouds. Light flushes of lavender and magenta summon heathland flowers amidst earth tones of saffron and dirty umber.
It seems Sauter was inspired by developments in neighbouring France, with the rising popularity of the impressionists and their spontaneous, emotional reaction to nature. He would participate in modern developments in art in Belgium, becoming a member of the art group ‘Labour.’ He participated in their exhibition at the Modern Museum in Brussels in 1906. The group was described as being for artists with a ‘variety of vision,’ with no one artist painting the same. Modernity and freedom of expression was the way forward.
Clearly, Sauter was part of a modern-leaning art group, taking a precedent from the developments undertaken by the impressionists in France.
Unfortunately, there is very little else known about Felix Alois Sauter. Nonetheless, his vivid, evocative landscapes tell us much about an artist fascinated by his land. So much so, he created passionate, impressionistic works celebrating its beauty.
Born in Antwerp, Belgium.
Exhibited with the ‘Labour’ art group at the Modern Museum, Brussels, Belgium.