PROSPER DE TROYER
(1880 - 1961)
Sacred Heart of Jesus among the People
123 x 154 cm
Oil on Panel
Prosper De Troyer (1880-1961)
Prosper de Troyer was born in Destelbergen in 1880 into a family of twelve children on Christmas day, in a barn surrounded by water as a result of the break-up of the Scheldt river dike, which his father was busy trying to repair. Prosper received his first artistic training at Saint-Luc in Oostakker but when his mother died in 1894, he had to leave school to provide for his family and worked as a blacksmith.
The pictorial evolution of De Troyer obeyed an internal logic that lead him from realism to abstraction in the 1920s. He then evolved towards neo-impressionism. During WWI, he painted close to the spirit of Brabant Fauvism. He was part of the circle around Paul van Ostaijen (1896-1928) and attended Brussels artistic circles.
He assimilated fauvism and cubism into his work at the end of the war, when he discovered Marinetti's Manifesto of Futurism. It is Marinetti who made sure that De Troyer's drawings appeared at futuristic exhibitions in Florence. With Paul Joostens and, before him, Jules Schmalzigaug, De Troyer is one of the few Belgian artists to have adhered to this mode of expression. From 1920, he shortly moved fully into abstraction and adopted the "pure expression", which he applied to abstract works where his vision became more geometric. Malevich's supremacism particularly attracted him in those year.
1922 is the year that marked the artist’s return to figurative painting. With themes such as the mother, the child, the man, landscapes and religion, De Troyer evolved towards a very personal expressionism close to the German movement Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity), the theories of which he applied to powerful and monumental compositions, with simplified forms and themes borrowed from family life and the Bible.
The work of the artist is part of museum and private collections notably in Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Mechelen and Ostend.