This large, impressive work can be considered amongst the artist’s most important compositions. Encapsulating his artistic ideals, the stark figure is painted with a distinct sensitivity and clever use of materials. Dating to shortly after World War II it is typical of the figurative work Meerbergen was painting prior to his evolvement into abstraction. Rudolf Meerbergen was born in Antwerp in 1908 where he would study, at the age of 18, under Ciamberlani and Opsomer. Graduating in 1932, he commenced his career as a professional artist and by 1935 had joined the prestigious Cercle Artistique d’Anvers. As with many of his contemporaries, the war years meant little time for painting but in 1945 he became one of the founding members of perhaps Belgium’s most important post-war art group, La Jeune Peinture Belge. This group of like-minded artists included Rik Slabbinck , Antoine Mortier, Rene Barbaix, Anne Bonnet and Mig Quinet. Together they would change the face of Belgian art later becoming some of the greatest exponents of the Abstract movement in Europe. Meerbergen’s early work, that painted before World War II, consisted of mythological figure pieces often on a grand scale, painted in predominantly browns and blues. This particular work shows the transition between his early compositions and his later more Expressionist paintings. By 1950 he was producing Abstract geometric pieces which, although well crafted, lacked the spontaneity of his early oeuvre. Rudolf Meerbergen would travel extensively during the 1960’s and 1970’s visiting most of the countries in western Europe. He was a keen follower of philosophy but is also known to have had an interest the occult. His later life saw him possessed with personal demons and in 1987 he took his own life in France. His work, along with other member of La Jeune Peinture Belge, is undergoing a re-evaluation and is finally gaining the critical acclaim that has been so long overdue. Paintings by Meerbergen can be seen in Belgium at the museums of Antwerp and Brussels as well as in the collections of many provincial museums in France.