Brusselois expressionist painter, woodcutter and graphic artist who was active in Brabant fauvist circles.
Studies at the Brusselse Academie voor Schone Kunsten (Brussels Academy of Fine Arts) where he gets to know the new movements such as symbolism and the post impressionism. Later it will be people like Cézanne or Bonnard that influence him.
A large part of Tytgat’s youth takes part in the area – also literary – of Rik and Nel Wouters, with whom he shares love, suffering and poverty. Edgard ‘Klache’ Tytgat is a prominent character in the autobiographical notes of Nel.
During the First World War, Tytgat and his wife Marie stay in Great Britain, where the artist furnishes a studio with a printing press.
One of the publications with woodcuts that he produces in 1917 after the death of his friend, Wouters, is the volume Quelques images de la vie d’un artiste (Some Images of an Artists’ Life), of which he singlehandedly prints forty numbered copies. By every one of the sixteen intentionally naïve prints Tytgat writes a short text about the life of Rik and Nel, whom he knew so well.
Tytgat’s style evolves from local Fauvism to a wayward Expressionism with a popular and naïve character. Like a fairy tale storyteller he sets down fairground carousels and circus marquees. With his interiors he experiments with light and form.
Another reoccurring motif is the nude, particularly in historical or mythical scenes which often have a forbidding or even sadistic undertone. With Tytgat no fairy tale is innocent.
Tytgat not only painted or drew carousels, he once made a substantial model for the living-room.