Emile Fabry was Belgian symbolist painter and designer. He studied at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels under Jean-François Portaels, and worked with the designer Cir Jacques.
He had a special symbolist attitude towards the mysteries of the unconscious and of the obscure Nature forces. As many artists who worked within the milieu of Belgian Symbolism work, even Fabry was heavily influenced by Maurice Maeterlinck (1862-1949), depicting characters who expresses anguish through its depiction of wild-eyed and deformed figures.
The still and silence pervade the composition, as in case of “le fil de la vie”, weather the eyes of the central figure seems to be able to investigate in-depth the unconscious of the spectator. Marbled and crystallized colors provide the impression of a world where inquietude and mystery are ruling …
In 1892 Fabry took part in the first exhibition of the group ‘Pour l’Art’, which he founded with Jean Delville and of which he depicted the poster, and in 1893 and 1895 exhibited at the Salons de la Rose+Croix, established by the Sar Joséphin Pèladan.
In this period he experimented an aesthetic in which the characters are disposed in front of the spectator, developing over vertical lines, somewhat with an architectural approach, recalling some conposition of pre-raphaelitism:
The palette is also darkening, soft pointillism suggest an intimae light experience, just like the light itself was produced by the character rather than coming from some natural source. Again, the supernatural and intimate unconscious take over the usual expectation about the external natural phenomenon. No forecast is possible in either the intimate world nor in the work of Fabry. In “Vers l’Ideal” there are also present influences from the Austrian Secession (Klimt):
Emile Verhaeren in 1896 wrote about him:
A special artists with a strong willing. He is able to clearly express sadness, force and ingenuous sweet attitude. His characters has large front, large eyes, compact long hairs, placed in a metallic, marbled and silent world: they are like suspended upwards as huge melancholic flowers. He is one of the rare artist who as a special attitude towards life, and who is living in a splendid world apart. A world which sometimes looks as the only who is actually real. And this is his powerful art. We are brought into this individual vision which completely fascinates the spectator.
And eventually these word were inspired by one of the masterpiece of Fabry, “Les gestes”, 1895:
In this painting the curve lines are ruling the development of the shapes. The large eyes and the lounged faces are incredibly expressive, providing a melting pot of different feelings such as sadness (the woman on the very left), melancholy (far right) and a perverted beauty, which is able to dig in-depth the spectator unconscious and inner world (central figures). One can feel these eyes right in his blood without being scared rather being fascinated. These long faces, with an hermetic expressions constitute a incitation to the spectator to know the inner part of himself. Just like a painted symbolic version of the Delphic and Heraclitean motto, a sort of parallel with the Klimtian Nuda Veritas: These eyes in Fabry’s painting are the counterpart of the Nuda Veritas’ glass, both directed toward the spectator own sight (either external and internal) …
Death at 101, the author during his long life continuously remain on his ideal, researching new expressive way to depict the inexpressible trough symbolic form and lines, with metallic colors, with an attitude towards the mystery, trough his love for veiled Isis. He still maintains his role of prophet of symbolism just at the time of non-figurative and too often rizomatic and casual art. Our flag versos any action (aka non-symbolic) art.