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Léon Spilliaert

5 August — 20 September 2020

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Discover the visionary work of Belgian artist Léon Spilliaert – from his celebrated self-portraits to dreamlike scenes of the North Sea coast.

Please note: due to social distancing, tickets are limited. We release tickets in three-week batches; sign up to our emails to be notified when additional tickets are available.

Essential information

The starting point for your visit will be on the ground floor and you will be escorted to the gallery by a member of staff.
This exhibition will open to Friends of the RA and the public on 5 August.
Everyone (including Friends) must book tickets for a timed slot online or by phone.
This exhibition has reduced capacity, so we may ask you to move on more quickly if the galleries become busy.
Download a large print guide. Physical copies are no longer available in the galleries.
The galleries close at 5pm.
All ticket holders can visit our free displays.
Read our full information about visiting and staying safe.
Tickets can be transferred or refunded up to the day – call 0207 300 8090.

Léon Spilliaert (1881–1946) was born in the coastal town of Ostend. He moved to Brussels at the age of 20, and would live and work between the two cities for the rest of his life. Self-taught, he forged his own artistic identity, which was shaped by the affinity he felt with writers and thinkers such as Edgar Allan Poe and Friedrich Nietzsche.

Spilliaert’s work is characterised by dramatic perspectives and a quiet luminescence. He is best known for a sequence of enigmatic self-portraits and for his atmospheric night-time scenes of Ostend. His visual explorations of the self and potent images of solitude align him with European modernists such as Edvard Munch and Vilhelm Hammershøi.

This is the first monographic exhibition of Spilliaert’s work in the UK and will showcase some 80 works on paper – from images of his home town and the coast, to later works capturing the tranquillity of the forest outside Brussels. It will bring together works from public and private collections across Belgium, France and the USA, presenting a journey through the lifetime of a remarkably insightful and unusual artist.

Exhibition organised by the Royal Academy of Arts, London in collaboration with the Musée d‘Orsay, Paris.


5 August — 20 September 2020

Mon–Tues closed
Weds–Sun 11am – 5pm

£14 (without donation £12). Concessions available. Under-16s go free with a fee-paying adult. Everyone (including Friends) must book tickets for a timed slot online or by phone.

The Jillian and Arthur M. Sackler Wing of Galleries, Royal Academy of Arts

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