La Libre Esthétique

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An association of artists formed in Brussels in 1894 to carry on the work of the Groupe des Vingt (XX), which had dissolved in 1893. Les Vingt (so called because there had originally been twenty members) was made up mainly of Symbolist painters, including Ensor and Toorop; the group showed work not only by its own members, but also by non-Belgian artists such as Cézanne and Gauguin, and it was influential in spreading the ideas of Neo-Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. La Libre Esthétique maintained these ideals, continuing until 1914, with most of the leading avant-garde Belgian artists of the period as members. It was administered by the lawyer and critic Octave Maus (1856–1919), who also founded and ran the weekly periodical L'Art moderne (1881–1914), the leading Belgian avant-garde journal of the period. (L'Art moderne was also the title of a short-lived periodical published in Paris, 1875–6.)

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