Charles H. Van den Eycken 

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Biography of Charles H. Van den Eycken  ( 1859-1923 )

Charles Van den Eycken was a painter specialised in animals, and more particularly in domestic animals. He was born in a family artist, his grand father was a decorator painter and his father was a famous landscape painter. In this way, he received his first drawing’s lessons in his family, and then he continued his studies at the Brussels Academy of Fine Art, under Joseph Stevens direction.

The young artist was rapidly known for his picturial representations of dogs and cats in interiors. The animals were not depicted as if they were posed but more as active participants. Most of the time, they were portrayed in touching or playful situations, which was given many life to his paintings.

He was also an active member of the « Essor » - group founded in 1876 when realism has becomen a unifying movement among many young artists. The Essor’s motto was « A unique art, a unique life »  which was pointed out the connection between Art and Life. The founders were perceived as progressive people and wanted to rebel against the « Artistic and Literary Circle of Brussels », who used to stay more conservative. This movement’s main target was to organise some exhibitions where members could show their art works. The group has organised many exhibitions in Brussels, Ostend, Antwerpen and also in London.

Charles Van den Eycken was considered as one of the most important 19th century artist specialised in domestic animals. He was regularly exhibited at the Brussels Fine Art’s Salon from 1881, and also in Gent and Antwerpen when he was awarded many times. Very valued all along his life, he executed many official orders especially for the Belgium Queen Henriette. 

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