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 Louis Delbeke  (1821 - 1891)

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Lived/Active: Belgium      Known for: easel and mural painting, realist figure, genre and portrait

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Ad Code: 4
Louis  Delbeke
from Auction House Records.
Tableaux de chasse avec lièvre, canard et faisans
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Louis Delbeke was born in the Belgian city of Poperinge on 9 February 1821. Around 1832, the Delbeke family moved to Ypres (Ieper),where Louis attended the Academy. He won all the important prizes. In 1838-39 he studied for awhile at the Brussels Academy. Lack of funds, however, forced him to return to Ypres, where he became a helper in the studio of François Böhm (1801-1873) and again went to the Academy. There he won the highest award, the Prix Honneur in 1842.

With an annual grant from the city, he could then study for five years at the Antwerpen Academy. He returned to Ypres to earn his living as a portrait painter. In 1850, Louis participated in the Prix de Rome for painting, but the first prize went to Modest Carlier. The cities of Ypres and Poperinge along with the provincial government granted him, however, a bourse with which he could travel around Italy for four years.

Thus, between 1851 and 1854, he stayed in Siena, Florence, Pistoia, and, of course, in Rome, where he was impressed by the sublime monumental work of the Nazarenes. He painted philosophical works, heavily loaded with symbolic and esoteric motifs.

A painter, he did watercolor portraits, murals, historical compositions and genre scenes in the Realist style.

He moved to Brussels and did all kinds of preparatory chores in the studio of Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836-1912). From 1870 on he painted realistic genre scenes from everyday life. From 1877 on, he concentrated on monumental decorative art. However, his name will always be associated with the murals he created between 1881 and 1891 in the Ypres (Ieper) Lakenhallen. Although destroyed during the First World War, they are still considered the most original murals made in Belgium in the 19th century.

Delbeke died on 21 February 1891 in Schaarbeek, leaving his last mural almost completed.

Work is in Museum: Brussel, Ieper.

Submitted by Paul Gosselin, Artist


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