A painter in the classical Flemish tradition, he was a "marinist", and that included fishing scenes, harbour, coastal scenes and landscapes.
Frans Van Damme was born in Hamme-Theet (East Flanders) on July 19th 1858. His grandfather was Petrus Franciscus Van Damme, a carriage maker, born in Waasmunster on May 4th 1803 and his grandmother Amelia Goossens born in Zele on March 30th 1810. Virginia Van Damme, daughter of his grand uncle Paulus married Petrus De Keyser, who was the cousin of the first Belgian catholic lord mayor of London. His grandparents had four children: Richardus, Leopoldus, Carolus and Melania (she was a midwife).
Richard Van Damme married Joanna Catherina Bonnaerens in Hamme in 1857.
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