19th Century Framed Pastel by Francois Stroobant (1819-1916)

2207-22258 (Click to Inquire About This Item)

33H x 44W x 2D

Location: Baton Rouge


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19th Century Framed Pastel by Francois Stroobant (1819-1916) is a remarkably well preserved work, thanks to the careful handling over the past century, and the relatively recent reframing with glass.  A silvered frame was chosen to accentuate the sepia tones of the work, which depicts a quaint rural scene with a pond acting as an invitation into the scene, beside which a group of quaint cottages have been built.  A lone man in a boat can just be seen at the center of the composition.  The design features prominent sycamore trees that have sprouted new growth after the traditional severe pruning that is popular in many places in Europe.  The sycamores dominate the left side of the work, contrasting with the new sapling on the right side, with even the cloudy sky seeming to flow in the direction of the younger tree.
François Stroobant was a native of Brussels, and was the first director of the School (future Academy) of Drawing and Modeling in Molenbeek. A medallion with his effigy was placed on July 2, 1908 on this building. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels from 1832 to 1847, and began his apprenticeship in the lithography studio of Antoine Dewasme-Plétinckx, who was very famous at the time.  He continued his training by doing his Grand Tour through various European countries: Hungary, Galicia, Italy, then Germany, Switzerland, Holland from which he brought back an abundance of sketches. He was particularly interested in rendering the details of cities, which were the subject of two illustrated works: Monuments d'architecture et de sculpture de Belgique (1853) and The Monumental and Picturesque Rhine, in two folio volumes. As a painter-decorator, he decorated the Château de Presles with frescoes from 1859 to 1860, which Balat had just rebuilt up to date. In the town hall of Brussels, he executed a series of nine paintings representing old Brussels for the office of the mayor. In 1865, he became the founder and first director of the Academy of Molenbeek-Saint-Jean.

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