Het Afscheid


Marieke, Permeke’s wife, died on 3 May 1948. The painting Het Afscheid from the same year shows the painter sitting next to the death bed. The sharp contrast between the death bed in white tones and the artist enveloped in black tones emphasises the artist’s immense grief. Marieke was buried in Jabbeke.

Did you know that …

This work is also on the official list of Flemish Masterpieces. It is currently being restored and will soon be moving to Mechelen where it will be part of Het Kunstuur 2, the second exhibition of Het Kunstuur in Mechelen. The same concept as the first edition: Belgian art from 1880 to 1950 with, among others, Permeke, De Smet, Van de Woestyne, De Saedeleer, etc. but with different stories, different storytellers and music by Dirk Brossé.

Did you know that …

Constant Permeke died on 4 January 1952 at the Heilig Hartziekenhuis (hospital) in Ostend. He was laid out in one of the studios in his house De Vier Winden, flanked by the monumental work De Zaaier from 1933.

He was buried a few days later, on 8 January, next to his wife Marieke in the cemetery in Jabbeke. On the grave is a statue of Georges Minne, made in 1899. Permeke himself placed the statue on the grave after the death of his wife. Originally a reclining naked woman was envisaged. This Naakt strongly resembled de Liggende naakte vrouw in the garden from 1947 but was refused by the priest at the time.

Recently, the artist’s last resting place was taken into consideration during the redevelopment of Dorpsstraat in the centre of Jabbeke. Permeke and his wife lay hidden behind a bus shelter for many years. The bus stop was moved and now everyone can see the gravestone from the street.

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