Egide Charles Gustave Wappers
Egide Charles Gustave, Baron Wappers (23 August 1803 Antwerp – 6 December 1874 Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

) is best known as the Belgian
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

 Gustave Wappers, while his oeuvre is also reckoned Flemish. He signed works by the name Gustaf Wappers. name=E-K-G-Wappers>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
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

 city of Antwerp as Egidius Karel Gustaaf Wappers, and internationally also known as such though more often as Gustaaf Wappers. 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. The baronnial title he was granted, belongs between forename(s) and surname. See e.g.:

He studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, and during 1826 in Paris. The Romantic movement
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

 with its new ideas about art and politics was astir in France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan 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
Belgian Revolution
The Belgian Revolution was the conflict which led to the secession of the Southern provinces from the United Kingdom of the Netherlands and established an independent Kingdom of Belgium....

. While political, this remarkable work revolutionized the direction of Flemish painters.
Wappers was invited to the court at Brussels, and was favoured with commissions. In 1832 the city of Antwerp appointed him Professor of Painting. name=NI>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:

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
Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium
The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium , is one of the most famous museums in Belgium.-The museum:...

, Brussels
City of Brussels
The City of Brussels is the largest municipality of the Brussels-Capital Region, and the official capital of Belgium by law....

) at the Antwerp Salon in 1834. He was subsequently appointed painter to Leopold, King of the Belgians
Leopold I of Belgium
Leopold I was from 21 July 1831 the first King of the Belgians, following Belgium's independence from the Netherlands. He was the founder of the Belgian line of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha...

. At the death of Matthieu-Ignace Van Brée in 1839 he was elavated to director of the Antwerp Academy. One of his pupils was Ford Madox Brown
Ford Madox Brown
Ford Madox Brown was an English painter of moral and historical subjects, notable for his distinctively graphic and often Hogarthian version of the Pre-Raphaelite style. Arguably, his most notable painting was Work...

; another was the Czech history painter Karel Javůrek
Karel Javůrek
Karel Javůrek was a Czech painter, known for his history paintings. He received his initial training with Christian Ruben after spending time in František Tkadlík's studio; he then followed Jaroslav Čermák to Antwerp, where he studied with Gustave Wappers. Further study in Paris followed, with...


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
Louis-Philippe of France
Louis Philippe I was King of the French from 1830 to 1848 in what was known as the July Monarchy. His father was a duke who supported the French Revolution but was nevertheless guillotined. Louis Philippe fled France as a young man and spent 21 years in exile, including considerable time in the...

 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. 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

  • du Jardin, Jules L'Art flamand.
  • Fétis, E. 'Notice sur Gustave Wappers' in Annuaire de l'academie royale de Belgique (1884).
  • Hostyn, N., 'Gustaf Wappers' in Nationaal Biografisch Woordenboek, 18, Brussels, 2007.
  • Lemonnier, Camille
    Camille Lemonnier
    Antoine Louis Camille Lemonnier was a Belgian writer, poet and journalist. He was a member of the Symbolist La Jeune Belgique group, but his best known works are realist. His first work was Salon de Bruxelles , a collection of art criticism...

    Histoire des beaux arts en Belgique

Further reading

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