Belgian, 1877 - 1968
Oil on panel, signed and dated
12 x 16 in.
Now regarded at one of the most important Belgian painters of the early twentieth century, Georges Van Zevenberghen was a painter of great vision and ability. There was really no subject that he failed to paint during a career that lasted nearly seventy years. Landscapes, marines, still-lifes, portraits, nudes and interior scenes were all included in his oeuvre and were all painted with the same technical brilliance.
Georges Van Zevenberghen was born in 1877 in the town of Molenbeek where, at the age of eighteen, he enrolled at the local academy. Whilst here he studied drawing but a year later decided to leave to become a professional painter. He soon realized however that his lack of formal training was proving a hindrance so, in 1899, he took a course in oil painting at the Academy of Brussels. It was whilst here and subsequently at the atelier of Jan Stobbaerts that he perfected his style and gained the influences that would last his career. In 1903 he traveled to Paris for the first time, a city that he would revisit in 1910 and again in 1921 and as a result of these visits would be exposed to the dramatic changes occurring in the art world at the time. During World War I he remained in Belgium and it was not until 1920 that he once again started painting in earnest. In 1926 he again traveled to France but on this occasion he went as a part of a large group of Belgian artists including his friends Auguste Oleffe, Philibert Cockx and Rene Janssens.
Georges Van Zevenberghen enjoyed great critical acclaim and during the 1930’s and 1940’s helped established a number of important art groups. From 1933-1947 he was Professor at the Academy of Brussels, one of the most prestigious positions in the Belgian art world. Even whilst in his seventies and eighties he still traveled making visits to both Italy and Spain.
He died in the town of Saint-Joost-ten-Node in 1968. On the tenth anniversary of his death an important retrospective was held at the Musee Charlier and it is here, together with the Museums of Antwerp, Brussels and Mons, where one can see his work today. This small, but beautifully rendered, example of his work dates to 1927 and was probably painted in Paris.