Eugène Verboeckhoven was an important Romantic, Belgian animal painter.
His oil studies of animals, such as ours, show a vitality that is often lacking in his over-polished paintings.
About Eugène Verboeckhoven
Warneton 1798 – 1881 Schaerbeek
Animal painter, also active as engraver and as sculptor.
Eugène Joseph Veboeckhoven was the most important 19th century Belgian animal painter of the Romantic period.
His father was a Neo-classical sculptor of mythological and allegorical figures. He was not very successful and the family moved regularly.
Already at a very young age Eugène needed to work to help support his family: first in a toy factory, later with a printer. In 1818 he became a pupil of the important Neo-Classical animal painter Balthasar- Paul Ommeganck (1755 – 1826). Under Ommeganck’s influence his technique became strongly indebted to 17th century Dutch animal and Italianate painting.
Verboeckhoven was very successful, right from the start of his long career; he participated at his first Salon, in Ghent in 1820. He competed in a lot of Salons, travelled extensively and became an important, internationally acclaimed painter. He remained loyal to his own Romantic idiom, which resulted in a shrinking public popularity after 1860, but that was compensated by an increasing number of public commissions. Verboeckhoven had been an active participant in the Belgian Revolution against the Dutch in 1830, which lead to the creation of an independent Belgian state. The new Belgian ruling class never dropped him.
His direct observation of nature resulted in many sketches and more elaborate oil studies of animals (such as ours). In contrast to his paintings these show a less polished, less artificial, but more truthful image, closer actually to Realism, the style that replaced Verboeckhoven’s much-loved Romanticism.
Why should you buy this painting?
Because Verboeckhoven, just like Rubens, is at his best when he is sketching, in a tremendously vital and vibrant way.