IDBURY PRINTS

FRANS DE GEETERE (Belgian / 1895-1968)

The artist Frans de Geetere was born François Joseph Jean de Geetere in Oudergem, a suburb of Brussels. Frans de Geetere studied at the Beaux-Arts in Brussels, but rebelled against the academic teaching there. With his partner, the painter May den Engelsen, Frans de Geetere sailed a barge from Brussels to Paris, where they moored by the Quai de Conti by the Pont Neuf and lived a Bohemian lifestyle. De Geetere and den Engelsen were intimate with Harry and Caresse Crosby in the late 1920s; Harry wrote to his mother, "If it is possible for two people to be in love with two people then we are in love with them." Harry Crosby shot himself after the Wall Street Crash in 1929. Frans de Geetere had an exhibition the following year at the Galerie de la Plume d'Or, introduced by the art critic André Warnod. But that was, essentially the end of his career. The chief influence on Frans de Geetere's work was the Belgian Symbolists, particularly Fernand Khnopff. The etchings of Frans de Geetere are sombre and disquieting, infused with a miasma of conflicted sexuality and existential dread. His art now feels very modern, resonating, for instance, with both that of Paula Rego and that of Jake and Dinos Chapman. In his own lifetime Frans de Geetere fell so far out of favour that he titled a volume of lightly-fictionalised memoirs, self-published from his barge the Marie-Jeanne, L'homme qui oublia de mourir - The man who forgot to die. There was an exhibition of Frans de Geetere's art at the Centraal Museum, Utrecht in 2007, and a new book on the artist by Jan Juffermans. We also have etchings by Frans de Geetere's companion May den Engelsen, which some attribute to de Geetere; in our view they were most likely created by den Engelsen in collaboration with de Geetere. See: Jan Juffermans, Frans de Geetere, 2006.

See also:

HENRY CHAPRONT
ÉDOUARD CHIMOT
ALMÉRY LOBEL-RICHE
FÉLICIEN ROPS
HENRI JOSEPH THOMAS
MARTIN VAN MAELE
MAY DEN ENGELSEN

Selected prints by FRANS DE GEETERE

La Toilette, 1925
Etching
Soir, 1925
Etching
Children in a park, 1936
Etching

View all available prints by FRANS DE GEETERE