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Gustave Wappers
Portrait Baron Wappers by Ghémar Frères.
Birth name Egide Charles Gustave Wappers
Born (1803-08-23)23 August 1803
Died 16 December 1874(1874-12-16) (aged 71)
Nationality Belgian
Field Painting
Training Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp
Movement Romanticism

Egide Charles Gustave, Baron Wappers (23 August 1803 Antwerp – 6 December 1874 Paris) is best known as the Belgian painter Gustave Wappers, while his oeuvre is also reckoned Flemish. He signed works by the name Gustaf Wappers.[1][2]


He studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, and during 1826 in Paris. The Romantic movement with its new ideas about art and politics was astir in France. Wappers was the first Belgian artist to take advantage of this state of affairs, and his first painting, "The Devotion of the Burgomaster of Leiden," appeared at the appropriate moment and had marvellous success in the Brussels Salon during 1830, the year of the Belgian Revolution. While political, this remarkable work revolutionized the direction of Flemish painters.

Episode of the Belgian Revolution of 1830 (1834), Museum of Ancient Art, Brussels.

Wappers was invited to the court at Brussels, and was favoured with commissions. In 1832 the city of Antwerp appointed him Professor of Painting.[3] He exhibited his masterpiece, "Episode of the Belgian Revolution of 1830" or rather "Episode of the September Days of 1830 on the Grand Place of Brussels", (Museum of Ancient Art, Brussels) at the Antwerp Salon in 1834. He was subsequently appointed painter to Leopold, King of the Belgians. At the death of Matthieu-Ignace Van Brée in 1839 he was elevated to director of the Antwerp Academy. One of his pupils was Ford Madox Brown; another was the Czech history painter Karel Javůrek.

His works are numerous; some of them in traditional devotional modes ("Christ Entombed"), while others illustrate the Romantic view of history: "Charles I taking leave of his Children", "Charles IX", "Camoens", "Peter the Great at Saardam", and "Boccaccio at the Court of Joanna of Naples".

Louis Philippe gave him a commission to paint a large painting for the gallery at Versailles, "The Defence of Rhodes by the Knights of St John of Jerusalem". He finished the work in 1844, the same year that he received the title of baron from Leopold I.[3] After retiring as director of the Antwerp Academy, he settled in 1853 in Paris, where he died in 1873 – having been one of the most talented flagships of Romanticism in Belgium.


General references[edit]

In-line references and notes[edit]

  1. ^ Note: The painter is known by one or by several forenames, in English mainly in their French language versions: Gustave or less frequently in full Egide Charles Gustave – though born in the Flemish city of Antwerp as Egidius Karel Gustaaf Wappers, and internationally also known as such though more often as Gustaaf Wappers.[1] The more rare spelling as 'Gustaf' rather approaches a usual pronunciation in the dialect of Antwerp, and occurs in signatures at the back of paintings.[2] The baronial title he was granted, belongs between forename(s) and surname. See e.g.: [3]
  2. ^ "Guide de visite : Episode des journées de septembre 1830 sur la place de l'Hôtel de Ville de Bruxelles". Musée d'Art Ancien (Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique): Peinture flamande – Ecoles du Nord: XIXème siècle en Belgique (in French). Insecula, Thailand. Retrieved 16 February 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Note: Another source states 1833 (instead of 1832) for becoming a professor at the Antwerp Academy, and 1845 (instead of 1844) for the baronnial title: "Gustaf Wappers Biography – (b Antwerp, 23 Aug. 1803; d Paris, 6 Dec. 1874)". The Arts: Fine Art, Contemporary Art & Music. Net Industries. Retrieved 16 February 2011. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Buyck, Jean F. (red.); Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten (Belgium) (1976). Gustaf Wappers en zijn school – tentoonstelling, Antwerpen, 26 juni tot 29 augustus 1976 (in Dutch (Summary in English)). Antwerpen: Ministerie van Nederlandse Cultuur, Flanders. p. 108. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egide_Charles_Gustave_Wappers — Please support Wikipedia.
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