Claus, who had Alzheimer's disease, died at Middelheim Hospital in Antwerp. "He himself picked the moment of his death and asked for euthanasia," not wanting to extend his suffering, his wife, Veerle De Wit, said in a statement.
Claus produced some 200 works during his career but was best known for his classic, "The Sorrow of Belgium" — a scathing attack on social injustice, stifling family relationships and Roman Catholic repression in his native Flanders in northern Belgium. "I am a person who is unhappy with things as they stand. We cannot accept the world as it is. Each day we should wake up foaming at the mouth because of the injustice of things," he said in a magazine interview more than a decade ago.