Born in Petit-Enghien in 1897, Léon Devos was a painter of figures, portraits, nudes, floral still-life, coastal views, interiors and landscapes. He was also an engraver and an occasional sculptor and he undertook his artistic training at L'Académie de Mons under the instruction of Alfred Duriau and Charles Catry from 1920 to 1921. He then studied at L'Académie de Bruxelles between 1921 and 1925 in the ateliers of Jean Delville and Constant Montald. Finally, he completed his training by going to Paris to study engraving at L'Institut de Gravure.
Throughout his career, Leon Dévos always attempted to capture the fluidity and beauty of figures and objects, to actually capture on the painted surface what they were made of and his paintings are all intimate in their observation. Up until about 1940, his style tended to be more poetic in line. In about 1950 though, he adapted his style and his paintings became more severe and geometric but then, around 1960, he reverted again to a more free texture with a lissom treatment of figures and objects all rendered in generous, more liquid paint and utilising more vibrant colours than hitherto.
In 1928, he was one of the co-founders of La Groupe Nervia and he was also a member of the La Groupe Présence and La Groupe Orientataion. He was elected Professor at L'Académie do Mons in 1929, a post which he held until 1946. He was made a Professor
at L'Académie de Bruxelles in 1939, subsequently becoming a Director of that body and in 1946, he became Professor at La Cambre in Brussels..
Paintings by Léon Devos can be seen in the Museums of Antwerp, Brussels, Charleroi, Ghent, Liège, La Louvière and Tournai.
Bibliography: Arto Dictionnaire Biographique Arts Plastiques en Belgique
Dictionnaire des Peintres Belges
Dictionnaire des Peintres - E Benezit
1897 - 1974
Oil on panel
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East Indiamen assembling off the coast with the Earl of Effingham, the Beckford and the Land Overly in the foreground