Willy Schlobach German-Belgian, 1865-1951

Willy Schlobach is a German painter who was born and spent the most part of is life in Belgium. He attended the Schools of Fine-Arts of Gand and Brussels where he met the painters James Ensor and Willy Finch. Like the later, Schlobach was one of the founding members of Le Cercle des XX, a group of young Belgian avant-garde artists who held annual exhibitions of paintings and decorative arts between 1884 and 1895.  By no means uniform in their style or approach, "Les XX" were greatly influenced by artistic trends in France, particularly the Neo-Impressionist paintings of Georges Seurat and Paul Signac. It was Theo van Rysselberghe - a close friend of Schlobach and fellow German artist - who had lived and worked in Paris and whose knowledge and understanding of the techniques of pointillism had a profound influence on the younger generation of Belgian painters.

 

During his youth, Schlobach took an interest in the works of the Pre-Raphaelites and was most certainly impressed by the painting of William Turner, whose work he discovered during a trip to Britain he took at the beginning of his career. The English painter’s brushwork effects that seem to dissolve the drawing and his meticulous attention to particular luminosities really resonated with Shlobach.

 

From the late 1880s, Schlobach's work found a new freedom of expression in the strict compositional rigour of the pointillist technique, in which the application of brushstrokes of pure colour creates a delicate effect of light and luminosity.

Under the influence of Turner, as well as Belgian painter Emil Claus, Schlobach’s neo-impressionism reveals itself, in subtle effects as much luminists as divisionists.

 

Rysselberghe and Schlobach both participated in the “Salon de La Libre Esthétique”, an annual exhibition that carried on the spirit of renewal of the “Cercle des XX” from 1894 to 1914.

 

After World War I, Schlobach returned to Nonnehorn in Germany, on the shores of lake Constance where he died in 1951.