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We will be open to Friends of the RA from Thursday 9 July, and to the public from 16 July. Find out more and plan your visit.

Léon Spilliaert

23 February — 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: this exhibition is temporarily closed due to access restrictions; further details will be announced in due course. Tickets already purchased for dates during closure can be refunded, please call the RA box office on 0207 300 8090 or email tickets@royalacademy.org.uk.

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.

#Spilliaert

23 February — 20 September 2020

Temporarily closed

£14 (without donation £12). Concessions available. Under-16s go free with a fee-paying adult. Free for Friends of the RA with no booking required.

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