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The German

Michaël Borremans (Belgian, born in 1963)


50 x 42 cm (19 11/16 x 16 9/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas

Not On View


Contemporary Art, Europe



In the twenty-first century, the challenges of working in a traditional medium and choosing to master the luminous qualities of traditional oil paints have led artists to reexamine the power of painting the figure. The small scale and intimacy of Borremans’ composition are pushed to a level of mystery by the blurred rendering and the peculiar nature of the subject’s action. Here, Borremans has created an enigmatic work in the style of his Symbolist and Surrealist predecessors. His paintings depict subjects caught in the middle of undefined and indefinable gestures and settings, allowing the viewer to assign their own interpretations to the works; projecting meanings from their own subconscious memories and experiences onto Borremans’ characters.


The artist; with Zeno X, Antwerp, Belgium; purchased by MFA, Boston, September 25, 2002

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by The Buddy Taub Foundation, Jill and Dennis Roach, Directors