Léon SPILLIAERT

1881-1946

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Quote, price and estimation of the artist Léon Spilliaert

Price of a painting by Spilliaert: 6,000 – 80,000€.

Estimate of a drawing or watercolour by the artist for auction: 3,000 – 100,000€.

Artist’s quotation for a print sale: 200 – 3,000€.

If you would like to have a painting by the artist appraised, our experts are at your disposal for a free appraisal.

A self-taught painter

Born in 1881 in Ostend and died in 1946 in Brussels, Léon Spilliart was a Belgian expressionist and symbolist painter. After only a short stay at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bruges, he started painting alone in 1900. In 1902 he worked for Edmond Deman, the publisher of the Belgian symbolists.

Spilliaert went to Paris for the first time in 1900 with his father for the World’s Fair. From 1904 onwards, he returned regularly, notably to exhibit at the Salons des indépendants in 1909, 1911 and 1913.

In Belgium, he started exhibiting in 1908 at the Kursaal in Ostend and attracted the attention of the public and critics.

A retrospective of his work was held in Brussels in 2006 and an exhibition will take place at the Musée d’Orsay in 2020.

Taking inspiration from the symbolists

Léon Spilliaert discovered the Belgian literary and artistic scene while working for Edmond Deman’s publishing house. The publisher publishes the works of influential literary figures, such as the writer and art critic Émile Verhaeren. Deman also owns a bookshop where he sells reproductions of paintings and works by contemporary artists. Spilliaert discovered there lithographs by Odile Redon and James Ensor, which were to have a great influence on him. Together with Ensor, he became part of the group of independents and the Kunst van Heden group in 1927.

He also exhibits with the Sélection collective, which publishes an eponymous magazine in which Spilliaert draws illustrations. The work of the artist Edward Munch will also make a strong impression on him.

In Paris, the artist met Picasso and Max Jacob. He also met the writer Stefan Zweig, who became his friend and collected his works. He became friends with Verhaeren, who introduced him to the art dealers in the capital.

A dark and emblematic work

Léon Spilliaert’s style remains unclassifiable, but it has little to do with certain currents such as Expressionism, Symbolism and Surrealism.

These often-dark works distil a disturbing atmosphere of strangeness and solitude that makes his work so unique. He draws and paints landscapes, still lifes, portraits and remarkable self-portraits.

Léon Spilliaert mastered painting as well as drawing and engraving. He successfully experimented with a wide range of mediums throughout his career: pastel, gouache, ink, pencil and watercolour.

Spilliaert is one of the leading artists of his time and remains a sure value on the art market. In 2015, his watercolour La Buveuse d’absinthe broke a world record at auction, fetching 483,000 euros at Sotheby’s Paris. Figurative paintings are indeed very popular and purchase prices can sometimes exceed 100,000 euros.

On the art market, however, prices start at 8,500 euros for a drawing. Sales estimates for a still life are usually between 14,000 and 20,000 euros, but can be considerably higher. Landscapes have values ranging from 20,000 euros to 150,000 euros.

Appraising and selling a piece by Léon Spilliaert

If you own a piece by Léon Spilliaert or any other object, ask for a free estimate via our online form.

You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent view of the market price of your piece. In the context of a possible sale, our specialists will also advise you on the different options available to sell your work at the best price.

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