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Project Belgian Refugees in the Netherlands 1914-1918

ost vluchtelingen 1914.jpg
Alfred Ost, Refugees, 1914, ink on paper, 310x430 mm 

At the outbreak of the First World War many Belgian artists sought refuge in neighbouring countries, particularly in the Netherlands. A fair amount has been written about the artistic development of artists such as Rik Wouters, Gustave De Smet and Frits Van den Berghe during their exile in Holland. However, dozens of less famous names appear only in the footnotes of the literature describing this period.

The project ‘Belgian Refugees in the Netherlands 1914-1918’ has been conceived by the RKD as the means of building a comprehensive inventory of Belgian artists who settled in the Netherlands as refugees. Each artist will be represented with at least one distinctive work in RKDimages. These can be seen by using our online RKDimages database and entering project Belgische vluchtelingen in Nederland in the ‘project’ box. In addition, there will be an extensive article focusing on the artistic and social context, mutual contacts between Dutch and Belgian artists, and the effects the exile had on the life and work of individual artists.

Hans Wijgergangs


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