Paul Delvaux

La Rue du tramway [Street of the Trams]

About this artwork

This painting is typical of Delvaux's style, featuring enigmatic nude figures in a strange setting, lit by an eerie, unreal light. Delvaux had trained in Belgium as an architect, and the backgrounds of his paintings frequently feature classical architecture or buildings from Brussels. Trams are a recurring motif in his paintings: a classic sexual metaphor, according to the psychologist Sigmund Freud. Delvaux probably used the tram and the expressionless women displaying themselves in windows and doorways, to suggest sexual tension. Male figures appear much less frequently in his paintings.

Updated before 2020

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Paul Delvaux

Paul Delvaux