Le Lavandou

Nationality, Life:

Belgian, 1857 -1940




Oil on panel, signed


12.5 x 17 in.

Born in Lierre in 1857, Louis van Engelen first studied drawing at the Academy of Lierre before taking a further course at the Academy of Antwerp.  Here he was taught by the figure painter Charles Verlat who persuaded the young artist to pursue a career in oil painting. Verlat at the time was working on a series of monumental tableaux depicting great historical events and Engelen was invited to insist his master on the project which required him to travel to France and Russia.  The suite of paintings was completed by 1882 after which Van Engelen established his own studio in Antwerp. His early work had a somewhat Realist flavor but by the early 1890’s his palette had softened and his work from then on became more Impressionist. He painted a variety of subjects that included landscapes, portraits, animal studies, marines and still-lifes all handled with a soft touch and a delicate color balance.  His early voyages with Verlat had whetted his appetite for travel and he was to visit numerous European countries as well as a trip to North America in 1893 and a visit to the Congo in 1895.


Louis van Engelen exhibited his work widely, always to critical acclaim, and his paintings can be seen today in Belgium at the museums of Liege and Antwerp.  This particular example dates to 1904 and depicts the picturesque seaside town of Le Lavandou on the French Riviera.