The nocturnes of William Degouve de Nuncques


The Blind House (1892).

William Degouve de Nuncques (1867–1935) is one of the less well-known Belgian Symbolists but one with a place in art history for the picture above. The mysterious atmosphere of The Blind House (often labelled as The Shuttered House, The Pink House or even The House of Mysteries) was admired by René Magritte who inverted the apparent conjunction of night and day in his own Empire of Lights series. Degouve de Nuncques’ other pictures from this period possess a similar quality of nocturnal mystery, a predilection he shared with other Belgian artists such as Léon Spilliaert and Paul Delvaux. Many of these pictures are pastels, a popular medium among the Symbolists for its nebulous effects.


In Venice (1895).


The Black Swan (1896).


Nocturnal Effect (1896).


Nocturne in the Parc Royal, Brussels (1897).


Night in Bruges (1897).


Lake Como (1897).


Night in Salzburg (1905).

Previously on { feuilleton }
The art of Léon Spilliaert, 1881–1946

5 thoughts on “The nocturnes of William Degouve de Nuncques”

  1. I’m very surprised that – as far as I am aware – there is no decent monograph on de Nuncques considering the beauty of his work.

  2. Those belgians and their mastery of atmosphere. Next up, Xavier Mellery’s nocturnes and staircases, then?

  3. There was an Degouve de Nuncques exhibition in the Netherlands, Kruller Muller Museum (who have a large collection of his works I believe) in 2012: missed it though! There, I looked it up, to be no English language publication unfortunately.

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