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The following biographical information has been provided by Robert Magremanne, the author of the monography on this artist.
Fernand Verhaegen (1883-1975) was a Belgian painter and etcher. He was born in Marchienne-au-Pont, near Charleroi in Wallonia. He took courses at the Academy for Fine Arts of Brussels from 1900 to 1906 and there became friends with Rik Wouters and Edgard Tytgat. After graduation he exhibited his works at many places in Belgium and abroad (Biennale of Venice in 1920 and 1922).
His style gradually evolved from Impressionism, Belgian Luminism to a synthetic form of capturing the reality. In his older days, he came back to a personal form of Impressionism. He specialized in painting the Walloon folklore (Carnival of Binche -he was very soon recognised as the painter of "the Gilles of Binche"-, Doudou of Mons, Giants of Ath, Chinelles of Fosses, Chaudia of Leernes, Pasqueye,etc...). He also created a series of etches devoted to the folklore in Wallonia. In his book about this artist, Robert Magremanne has named him "the great master of the Walloon folklore".
He died in Montignies-le-Tilleul. Today his works are in many different museums of Belgium ( Antwerp, Brussels, Charleroi, Ixelles, Liège, Mons) and abroad (Genève, Grenoble, Indianapolis).
Fernand Verhaegen, le grand maître du folklore wallon by Robert Magremanne, Imprimerie Provinciale du Hainaut, Charleroi (Belgium) 2003., with "Introduction" of Jean-Claude Van Cauwenberghe, Minister-President of the Walloon Government.