Saturday, May 19, 2012

Saturday Salon: A Favorite Painting or Two.....or Three!

Portrait of Marguerite van Mons 1886

Vase of Flowers 1907

Woman at a Mirror 1907

The Violinist 1903

Elisabeth van Rysselberghe in a Straw Hat 1901

Big Clouds 1893

Portrait of Mathilde Vereeken  1891

Elisabeth van Rysselberghe 1926

Madame van Rysselberghe in a Checkered Bow-Tie 1918


Theo van Rysselberghe (1862 - 1926) was a prolific Flemish Neo-Impressionist painter born in Ghent, Belgium. Influenced early on by the Orientalist paintings of Jean-Francois Portaels, he exhibited two portraits at  the Salon of Ghent when he was only 18. In 1881, he exhibited in the Salon at Brussels.

Blessed with a curious mind and an indefatigable zeal for travel, his trips (Spain and Morocco accompanied by fellow painters Frantz Charlet and Dario de Regoyos) heavily influenced Van Rysselberghe's early work which was an almost instant success upon his return home to Belgium.

He painted in the Neo-Impressionist style and introduced the Pointillist technique (a style of painting he was to adapt beautifully) used by Georges Seurat, to the Belgian art world. Van Rysselberghe was also a leader in the group of avant-garde Brussels painters known at Les XX.

He would travel again to Morocco and also to Athens, Constantinople, Hungary, Romania and St. Petersburg where he worked on posters for the 'Compagnie des Wagons-lits'. In 1897, he moved to Paris at a time when many of the most influential painters were producing remarkable work. Van Rysselberghe added his own vibrant style to the mix.

Unfortunately, much of his work remains in private hands and is only infrequently seen.


To learn much more about Theo van Rysselberghe and his work, please use this link.

I found this link to be informative as well. Artnet also has a great deal of information about Van Rysselberghe as well as a good overview of his work.

To see some of Van Rysselberghe's work chronologically, please use this link.

P.S. I apologize for the wonky spacing of this post, but google blogger is still misbehaving.


  1. Hi, Yvette - Thank you for introducing me to Theo Van Rysselberghe. I especially enjoyed going to the last link, which shows the chronological progression of his work. One can see that his own approach moved with the times — interesting!

  2. I love his work, Mark. I only just recently discovered him myself. I was tracking down one of his splendid flower still lifes. That's when I discovered he'd done one of my favorite paintings, the first portrait I'm showing, that of Marguerite van Mons.

    From reading about him I see that he did some work for an anarchist organization. Those were exciting times for sure. Both in the arts and in society.

    It's funny because he began painting in dark colors in more or less an impressionist style, then went to pointillism, then on the death of Seurat, went on to a post impressionist style.

  3. Meant to say 'neo-impressionist' style, not 'post'. :)

  4. I like Marguerite, Woman at a Mirror, The Violinist and Elizabeth. Very interesting paintings of women.

    I've never heard of this artist, but am so glad to see his works displayed here.

    Anarchists? It reminds me that some of my relatives who at the time lived in czarist Russia-annexed Poland, and were affected by the anarchist movement -- this in the early 1900s. They fled the area from 1905-1913 due to czarist pogroms, which were very oppressive.

  5. Yvette, these some lovely paintings. The only way I can appreciate them is by echoing Dr. Bean from MR BEAN the movie: "Hello, I'm Dr. Bean. Apparently. And my job is to sit and look at paintings. So, what have I learned that I can say about this painting? Well, firstly, it's quite big, which is excellent. If it were very small, microscopic, then hardly anyone would be able to see it. Which would be a shame. Secondly, and I'm getting quite near the end of this...!"

    I once owned a pocket book of paintings by the famous Dutch-Belgian artist Pieter Bruegel, one of dozens of Flemish painters, whose work is pretty awesome. Have you featured him?

  6. Kathy: I'm happy to introduce you to Theo van Rysselberghe whose work I admire enormously.

    I thought for sure I'd be the last on line to have heard of him, but I'm finding that's not so.

    Ah, the anarchists. I'm finding out that several artists were involved in this cause or that. I think it's easier to be an anarchist when your only weapon is paint. Though the artist's effect is probably more long lasting. If the artist is any good that is.

  7. Prashant I'm not quite clear on your meaning, but happy you seemed to enjoy the paintings anyway. :)

    I haven't featured Pieter Bruegel...yet. Maybe one of these days.

  8. Interesting. I like the pensive expression of the girl in the first painting.

  9. That's one of my favorites, Lucy, of Van Rysselberghe's work.

  10. On another topic, I finally have had time to settle in with Enslaved by Ducks, which has had me howling all day -- and I'm only 1/3 done.

    So inspired am I by this book, that I just ordered it for a friend who will be recuperating from surgery and for another friend who had a pet bird, which had to be taken back to the bird breeder as it needed to be with other birds and was going through a rough adolescence.

    Bob Tarte's sense of humor is priceless. I see on Amazon that his sequel Fowl Weather is also available there. Dangerous to credit cards.

  11. Hi Yvette,
    I was wondering if you had decided on a topic or film for my Horseathon? You had mentioned you would let me know.
    I'm getting my official list together today and the dates. So if you could leave that info over at my place.
    I hope you're still interested in signing on.

  12. Yvette, I found your portraits by Van Rysselberghe to be somehow both compelling and endearing. I especially liked "Madame van Rysselberghe in a Checkered Bow-Tie"; somehow I could imagine her teaming up with Hercule Poirot on a murder case! I was captivated; thanks for sharing your wonderful pictures!

  13. Kathy, I loved that book. I was laughing out loud half the time. Can't wait to read his next. I just have to find the time...!!

  14. Page, I commented on your blog. Waiting for your answer. Time just got away from me.

  15. Dorian, YES! I love that portrait too. Doesn't she look like someone it would be fun to know? Maybe she could have been Miss Marple at some point.

    Van Rysselberghe painted his wife at various stages of her life. He also painted his daughter. Notice her pointillist portrait as a young girl and the later portrait of a rather severe looking young woman.

  16. I placed an order through Better World Books for two Nero Wolfes and The Moving Toyshop. Not only were the prices reasonable, with no free shipping, but the purchase helped with a literacy program.

    So, this is definitely a good bestseller. Thanks for your suggestion.

  17. I meant a good bookseller! They don't have a lot of new books I want to order, but their used book selection is extensive and since it doesn't charge or shipping, and apparently, not taxes either, it's a good deal. And one feels like one is contributing to educational programs.

  18. I love Better World Books, Kathy. I'm always recommending them. You can't beat the free shipping - NO minimum.
    Plus they really do have a large selection of vintage.

    And your money helps literacy programs. Can't be beat.

    I like Alibris too, but the shipping charges are off-putting.

  19. Hi Yvette, Thank you for introduction to Theo Van Rysselberghe. It was an interesting piece.

  20. You're very welcome, Alice. Van Rysselberghe did some remarkable work. I admit I am smitten with his work.

  21. two paintings in the series above are not by van Rysselberghe; no.7 is typically by signac; no.12 is by a excellent painter but this is not van Rysselberghe - the sunset over a lake with a man in a little boat at the foreground.
    I would be interested to know where you found it.

    1. Thanks for letting me know, Arnold. I posted this back in the day when I didn't realize I should (as much as possible) source all paintings. I was ignorant then - not so much now, I hope. I'll try and do better in the future.

      The painting you inquired about is by the wonderful American Impressionist Edward Henry Potthast and shame on me for not having picked up on that.


Your comment will appear after I take a look.