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 Eugene Verboeckhoven  (1798/99 - 1881)

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Lived/Active: Belgium      Known for: animal, genre and figure painting

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Eugen Joseph Verboekhoven is primarily known as Eugene Verboeckhoven

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from Auction House Records.
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Biography from Auctionata:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Eugène Verboeckhoven (1799-1881) The Belgian painter Eugène Joseph Verboeckhoven was trained in drawing and embossing by his father, the sculptor Barthélemy Verboeckhoven. In 1847, he established a studio in Brussels, where he painted numerous animal depictions, particularly landscapes with sheep. His paintings are characterized by a careful drawing. In addition to his paintings, Verboeckhoven also has etched animal depictions. Works by Verboeckhoven are on display in numerous major museum collections, including the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Courtauld Institute of Art and the Royal Collection in London, as well as the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas.

Biography from Odon Wagner Gallery:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Verboeckhoven began drawing and sculpting as a young child.  In 1815, his family moved to Ghent, where he attended the Academy from 1816 to 1818 with support from the sculptor Albert Voituron (1787-1847) and later by a Ghent patron, Ferdinand Van der Haegen.  From 1818 Verboeckhoven was a pupil of Balthasar-Paul Ommeganck, whose classical pastoral landscapes became a model for his own paintings, such as the Landscape with Cattle and A Cowherd by a Tree on display at the Rijkmuseum in Amsterdam and Halting Place.

In 1827, Verboeckhoven moved to Brussels with his family, and soon thereafter was made a director of the Musee de Bruxelles.  Thanks to his initiative, the pictures in Antwerp Cathedral, including a number of significant works by Peter Paul Rubens, were saved when the town came under fire in 1832. 

Verboeckhoven became a teacher at the Academie Royale in Brussels in 1845, and his pupils there included Louis-Pierre Verwee (1807-77), his son, Alfred Jaques Verwee, and the brothers Charles Tschaggeny (1815-94) and Edmond Tschaggeny (1813-73). Verboeckhoven frequently painted the animals as part of landscapes by J. B. Klombeck, Jean-Baptiste De Jonghe, Henri Van Assche, Barend Cornelis Koekkoek and Louis-Pierre Verwee.

Eugene Verboeckhoven is deemed to be one of the foremost animal painters of the nineteenth century.  In Verboeckhoven's work animals often bear human characteristics and are reminiscent of bourgeois portraits of the time. In his book on Verboeckhoven, Berko writes "he could have been called the "Raphael of sheep", for his rams are so well drawn, arrogant and proud; his ewes surrounded by graceful lambs, look gentle and complacent as ewes do, and all his pastoral scenes are bathed in a warm, pleasing and golden light.  Eugene Verboeckhoven was a remarkable painter of horses, goats and game; he also painted small figures on foot or on horseback, playing scrupulous attention to detail; the gun, the powder flask, the hunter's gaiters, down to the picturesque hat, the threadbare overcoat, the shepherd's crook, and of course the last-born baby lamb under the shepherd's arm."

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