2_Old_fisherman_of_Bordighera by Emile_Claus

Old Fisherman of BordigheraEmile Claus, 1898

Emile Claus (1849-1924) was born in Belgium, the 12th of 13 children. His father was a grocer, publican, and town councillor, whilst his mother came from a sea-going family. As a child, Claus showed a love of drawing and studied art at a neighbouring town academy. However, his father sent him off to Lille in France to become a baker, no doubt believing this to be a better bet than the life of a painter.

Claus eventually persuaded his father to allow him to study art in Antwerp, and soon prospered, becoming something of an artistic celebrity and rubbing shoulders with several leading artists of the day such as the sculptor Rodin. Claus began to change his style from a naturalistic, realistic one, to a type of impressionistic style called ‘luminism’, so-termed due to the bright and luminous range of colours he used. He founded the society Vie et Lumière (Life and Light) and became known as the ‘sun painter’.


Emile Claus [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Wrap Up Your Painting

  • What clues did you pick up about the person, from the objects in the painting’s environment?
  • How did you think it would feel to wear the clothes this person is wearing?
  • What aromas did you think this person could detect in their environment?
  • What happened next in the scene?
  • Did you like the person or not? Why did you feel this way?
  • How do you feel now you’ve completed this activity? If you enjoyed it, why not add more Look at Paintings audio guides to your week? And don’t forget, you can take these guides with you