Born Oct. 21, 1864, in Molenbeek-St.-Jean, near Brussels; died Feb. 22, 1940, in Brussels. Belgian painter.
Between 1887 and 1889, Laermans studied at the Academy of Arts in Brussels. His socially aware work was devoted to the lives of the unfortunate rural and urban poor and was often tragic in character. Examples of Laermans’ work are the triptych The Emigrants (1896) and The Blind Man (1898), which are both in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp, and The Night of the Strike (1894), which is in the Museum of Modern Art in Brussels. The expressiveness of the silhouettes in his paintings can be traced back to the tradition of Brueghel. Laermans’ style, with its pessimistic and stylized elements, resembles those of symbolism and art nouveau.