As a free student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent (1904), he was taught by Jean Delvin and made the acquaintance of Gustave De Smet and Frits Van den Berghe. After his military service, he went to Sint-Martens-Latem in the spring of 1909 and stayed there until 1912. He began a phase of experimentation with techniques from both Impressionism and Symbolism. From 1919 to 1929, Permeke lived mainly in Ostend. Until 1925, the marine theme is favoured. In 1929 he settled permanently in Jabbeke. The revelation of Cubism and African art led to a profound transformation of his style. Small and large charcoal studies (fishermen, women of the people) precede and accompany the realization of large paintings. The installation in Jabbeke marks the beginning of a period that is perhaps the pinnacle of the artist's career. A lighter and more varied colour is reserved for views of farms and the Flemish countryside.