Edgard Tytgat (Belgian, 1879-1957), L’Amour clandestin, 1938. Canvas, 90 x 116.5 cm.
Edgard Tytgat (Brussels, 28 April 1879 – Woluwe-Saint-Lambert, 11 January 1957) was a Belgian expressionist painter, bookbinder designer and graphic artist.
Tytgat grew up in Bruges and in Brussels. From 1897 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels. He was influenced by Fauvism and post-impressionism. Like many of his Flemish colleagues, Tytgat initially painted in an impressionistic style under the influence of Paul Cézanne, Pierre Bonnard and Ambroise Vollard. Only after the First World War did he develop the style with which he became known. Tytgat joined the Brabant fauvists who had united around Rik Wouters.
During the First World War he stayed in exile in London. He then settled in the Brussels area. His way of painting evolved into a more personal style inspired by expressionism and folk prints from the 18th and 19th century. Tytgat’s favorite subjects were the circus, fairs (in particular carousels), nudes and interiors. He found his subjects in his immediate surroundings: Brussels, Nivelles and later in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert, where he lived from 1924. In the style of Tytgat the influence of primitive folk art is clearly present. At the end of his life he turned away from the popular subjects and painted more fantasy-like scenes.
From 1920 Tytgat belonged to the group of Flemish expressionists around the magazine Sélection. His work from that period shows the influence of Gustaaf De Smet.
In addition to paintings Tytgat also made many etchings, woodcuts and book illustrations, in which he sometimes wrote his own texts.