On this page you will find some of the highlights of the museum collection. This selection will be expanded in the future.
For more information about other works from our permanent collection, please click on our page about the MovE-project.
The temporary exhibitions make that works from the permanent collection are not always on display in the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens. Consult the website or contact the museum for more information on the temporary collection presentations.
La petite Matisse, 1896
Oil on canvas, 67,5 x 42,5 cm
This particularly sensitive portrait represents Marguerite, the daughter of the famous French artist Henri Matisse. The background of this profile portrait is kept uniformly dark, without any depth, to fully accentuate the contours of the pearl grey robe and the head. Evenepoel always called the portrait of Marguerite, daughter of Henri Matisse, "La petite Matisse”. The Belgian artist Henri Evenepoel became friends with Matisse around 1894. They met in the studio of Gustave Moreau in Paris.
Frits Van den Berghe
Vissers aan de Leie, 1923
Oil on canvas, 80 x 62,5 cm
In this work, Frits van den Berghe depicted his two bosom friends, Constant Permeke and Gust. De Smet fishing. In this period, the Lys (region) is the main source of inspiration for Frits van den Berghe. At the time, his use of color, subjects and compositions show many similarities with the work of Gust. De Smet. Even though both Frits van den Berghe and Gust. De Smet are influenced by French Cubism and German Expressionism, the expressive distortion is not extreme and the natural subject matter is not excessively violated. Rather, their individual style will develop into a classical expressionism in which serenity, soberness and contemplation dominate.
Acryl on wood, 5x (83 x 82 cm)
© SABAM België
This work is a donation from Marthe Wéry following her exhibition at the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens in 1995. Colour and architecture are always the main elements in her work. While the works display a minimalist look, they simultaneously show great technical mastery and an artisanal attention to traditional pigments. Each panel is an element in a larger spatial composition in which Marthe Wéry treats the wall like a painter his canvas: the monochrome panel becomes a "paint stroke" in space. The result is an intense, almost sacral, experience of colour and space.
Valerius De Saedeleer
De Leie te Latem, 1903
Olieverf op doek, 72 x 61 cm
Valerius de Saedeleer painted this landscape near the Tempelhof in the village of Latem. The work is pivotal in the evolution of the artist: we still recognize the impressionism of his teacher Franz Courtens, yet there is already a clear commitment to dissolve certain colour areas into plain, monochrome fields. In this sense, the work De Leie te Latem seems to anticipate a strictly personal style which will mature after 1904 over a relatively short time span.
Herinnering aan een zondag, 1926
Oil on canvas, 88 x 116 cm
© SABAM België
In the 1920’s, Latem and Deurle were a meeting place for artists, art lovers and writers. Paul-Gustave Van Hecke, fierce defender of modernism in Belgium, owned a country house (villa Malpertuis on the banks of the River Lys) where artist friends were always welcome. Even then internationally known artists like Marc Chagall and Ossip Zadkine came to visit. On holidays the black and white flag of Ghent - the colours of the freebooters - flew over the porch of the house.
Tytgat depicted one of the many Sundays where artists got together in his typical playful naïve-narrative way. Marc Chagall and his wife are sitting in the back of the boat which is steered by Léon De Smet. At the front of the boat, Frits Van den Berghe and Oscar Jespers are engaged in a lively conversation, while on the left on the river bank, Gustave De Smet shows off his archery skills. Hippolyte Daeye - in a beautiful white suit - helps Norine Van Hecke ashore, while the host waits for his guests with drinks and music. Edgard Tytgat himself has retreated to the upper chamber of the manor to paint the scene.
Raoul De Keyser
Surplace n°2, 2002
Oil on canvas, 70 x 80 cm
© SABAM België
Raoul De Keyser exhibited his works at the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens a number of times. Surplace n° 2 was acquired on the occasion of his exhibition Surplace in 2002. Surplace is a term derived from the world of cycling: it is an action in which the cyclist remains standing in one spot. It requires a high level of concentration to keep standing straight, feet on the pedals, yet without moving forward. Surplace is also the time between complete standstill and the actual race. In the work we recognize De Keyser’s typical tension between the two-dimensional reality and the illusion of perspective.
Frits Van den Berghe
De Droom (De Schepping), 1927
Oil on canvas, 120 x 140 cm
Up to the mid-twenties, Frits Van den Berghe was mainly inspired by rural life in Sint-Martens-Latem. From 1925 onward, however, he incorporated more and more strange motifs and philosophical elements into his work. With this work he tries to penetrate into the hidden depths of the human psyche. The painting De Droom illustrates this transition: the sleeping figure is reminiscent of the voluminous peasant type that often appears in his earlier work. The setting in which he is depicted, however, is abstract with cosmic dark-blue tones. Three strange small figures in red, yellow and purple are dancing and floating on the body. Here, Van den Berghe refers to the possibility of using the dream as a means to learn about the mechanisms and contents of the unconscious. This work can be seen as a precursor to the many paintings and drawings with a strong surrealist feel, in which grotesque dream figures take over.