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Research The Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG) Research Research centres Research Centre for Historical Studies (CHS)

PhD ceremony M. SLOOFF (CHS), De taal van het beeld

When:Th 04-03-2021 16:15 - 17:15
Where:Academy building

M. (Marleen) Slooff will defend her doctoral thesis on Thursday 4 March 2021.

De taal van het beeld
Lucebert tekenaar - dichter


  • Prof. D. Rijser
  • Dr P. Gerbrandy
  • Dr. M. (Merel) van Tilburg

The Language of the Image: Lucebert draughtsman – poet

The poetry of the multi-talented artist Lucebert (1924-1994) has been the subject of numerous studies, discussions and even polemics. By contrast, the few studies dedicated to his extensive pictorial oeuvre pale into insignificance. The cross-fertilization between his visual and poetic oeuvre has so far received little or no scholarly attention.

The Language of the Image: Lucebert draughtsman - poet is an attempt to connect both sides of Lucebert's artistry and to pay equal attention to the visual and the poetic work, in order that they may elucidate each other. The focus is on the early period, i.e. the published and unpublished poems up to 1966, and the drawings from the period between 1940-1965.

The research shows that drawing, painting and writing poetry were not separate worlds for Lucebert. Many similar themes can be found in his drawings and in his poems. In addition, the particular visual structure of the metaphors in his poetry shows that he is a poet with the eye of a draughtsman. In the discussions about the meaning of Lucebert's "corporal language", this aspect has so far been overlooked. An essential element in Lucebert's work is his constant play with paradox and ambiguity. Are these the weapons of self-defence? Or even the expression of an existential self-doubt related to his wartime past about which he has kept silent? Due to the lack of sufficient data at present, this question cannot be answered. A closer study of Lucebert's formative years as an artist during the period 1940-1950 is indispensable in order to do full justice to his impressive artistic legacy.

The University Library publishes the thesis digitally after the defence ceremony.