The Valley


Oil on canvas

106.5 x 109.5 cm

In The Valley (2007), Luc Tuymans depicts a child with a severe expression echoing his strict haircut and clothing. The disembodied figure reveals a muffled violence, prompting us to question the idea of the human being given his future as a "replicant".

Luc Tuymans based "The Valley (of the Doomed)" on an image from the film “The Village of the Damned”. It indirectly illustrates the power relations and restrictive moral codes of the early 1950s. The painting belongs to a group of works Tuymans created in 2007 about the persistent influence of religious power today, in particular that of the Jesuits, an order Ignatius of Loyola and Francis Xavier founded in 1539 that ushered in the rigour of the Counter-Reformation to counter the rise of Protestantism.

This work was presented for the first time by the Pinault Collection during the monographic show "La Pelle" (“The Skin”) at the Palazzo Grassi (2019-2020).