Henri De Braekeleer

In 1872, a young employee of Goupil & Cie art dealers called Vincent van Gogh visited the big summer triennial in Brussels. He was struck by three ‘splendid’ paintings by Henri De Braekeleer. Van Gogh called the latter’s work ‘curiously good’, and the artist himself ‘a famous colourist’ who ‘isn’t afraid of frank technique’ and who ‘analyses rigorously – Manet-like, at any rate as original as Manet’. The Dutchman’s strong interest in De Braekeleer sums up the attitude of the avant-garde at the time, who recognized a forerunner who had succeeded in liberating himself from traditional artistic conventions.
The time has come to reacquaint ourselves with De Braekeleer, who has too often been viewed in the past simply as a ‘misunderstood genius’. This autumn, the Musée Rops in Namur will stage the first retrospective of De Braekeleer’s art since 1988, featuring both well-known work and less familiar items from the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels, the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Tournai and a number of private collections.

Herwig Todts is an art historian associated with the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp. He organizes exhibitions, both in the museum in Antwerp and at other locations, and publishes on nineteenth- and twentieth-century art. His principal area of research is the work of James Ensor.
October 2019
440 pp.
32,5 x 24,5 cm
Multilingual edition
978-94-9303-926-1 (Nederlands/français)