Paul Delvaux Museum

Paul Delvaux (1897-1994)

La gare forestière van Paul Delvaux (detail)

Paul Delvauxlaan 42, Koksijde

Paul Delvaux’s oeuvre is noted for its mysterious, dreamlike scenes. Visit the museum and look for the painting of La Gare forestière. Then imagine yourself in the shoes of the two girls overlooking a station in the middle of a dark forest.

La gare forestière van Paul Delvaux

Paul Delvaux Museum

The Paul Delvaux Museum is located close to the beach of Sint-Idesbald. From the outside it looks like a small house, but appearances are deceptive. The museum continues below ground underneath the car park. The original 19th century fisherman’s cottage was purchased after World War I by the artist John Bakker, who kept it until 1930. In 1982, the Paul Delvaux Foundation purchased it to turn it into a museum. The foundation was established in 1979, in consultation with Paul Delvaux himself. The museum officially opened its doors on 26 June 1982. It displays several of the painter’s works, some of which were donated by Delvaux himself. A welcoming brasserie is located next to the museum.

La Gare forestière - Paul Delvaux (1897-1994)

As the title implies, La Gare forestière depicts a small station located in a desolate forest. The painting shows a steam train passing by which seems almost out of place in the natural landscape. Two girls mysteriously stand with their backs turned to the viewer. Paul Delvaux reportedly came up with the concept whilst staying in Esneux. The painting includes several features that refer to Esneux station, with the river Ourthe nearby and the rock formations amongst the trees. Delvaux turned it into a spectacular play of light, a snapshot between light and dark. It is based on a memory of him taking the train at night with his father as a 10 year old boy.

Sint-Idesbald Paul Delvaux Le Récitant

De Verteller - Paul Delvaux (1897-1994)

The painting entitled Le Récitant or The Narrator depicts a mysterious landscape, with mountains and an open brick built dilapidated building that could be an ancient ruin. A half-naked man, considered by some to be a self-portrait of Delvaux, makes an indeterminate gesture. The work features a painting of a naked woman with very long hair. Delvaux drew inspiration from the surrealist painter René Magritte and his painting Le Viol. The woman is within the painting, which rests on an easel, from which a necklace ending in a cross is suspended. Bright sunlight intensifies the desolate impact of the overall poetic scene. 

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Practical information

Address

Paul Delvauxlaan 42
8670 Koksijde
Belgium
View directions

Opening hours

  • Consult the Paul Delvaux Museum calendar on their website (see 'Any questions?')

Accessibility

  • Easy access for people with disabilities.

Good to know

  • Admission: € 12.00 standard rate

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