KHNOPFF, Fernand
(b. 1858, Termonde, d. 1921, Bruxelles)

I lock my door upon myself

Oil on canvas, 73 x 141 cm
Neue Pinakothek, Munich

The painting is based on a line from a poem called "Who shall deliver me?" by Christina Georgina Rossetti, sister of the painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti. It includes standard Khnopff symbols, a bust of Hypnos, an image of Bruges, flowers and a mirror, all placed in an extremely refined rectilinear composition recalling works by Whistler and Seurat exhibited at Les XX. A painting such as this exemplifies Khnopff's carefully studied approach. He stressed the importance of having a preliminary idea, often derived from prose or poetry. The resulting work was then carefully drawn, composed and finished to be enigmatic and evocative.

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