Early 20th-Century Belgian School

Béguinage

Early 20th-Century Belgian School

Béguinage

This charming early 20th-century Belgian oil painting depicts a historic street within a béguinage.

A bonneted woman ambles towards a colourful thoroughfare where the light bounces vividly from conspicuous yellow cobblestones. It’s a bright summer’s day and the verdant trees partially obscure a proud townhouse with a pinkish stepped gable. Behind her, a second woman, also dressed in black, leans to place a key in a heavy blue door.

A béguinage is a building complex designed to house a community of beguines - religious women who live collectively without taking vows. The concept dates back several centuries and began with institutions similar to convents. Usually, each community includes working spaces such as bakeries, hospitals, and farms.

The painting is unsigned and it’s interesting to consider whether it was produced by someone living there.

Held within a gilt frame.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 25” x 28½” / 63cm x 73cm
Year of creation: c. 1910
Provenance: Private collection, Belgium.
Condition: Artwork presents well. Tidy old restorations. Frame with some light wear.

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