“Kitten on a letter”, Charles Van den Eycken
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Tender interior scene of an mischievous kitten sitting on a feather and a letter. Coats of arms on the paper. Oil on canvas, dated 1916.
Size: H 27cm x W 33cm – H 48cm x W 55cm
Lit: Charles Van den Eycken was born in Brussels in 1859 into a family of artists. His grandfather was a decorative painter and his father a famous painter of landscapes in the 17th century Dutch style. He naturally became a pupil of his elders, and then continued his studies at the Brussels Academy under Joseph Stevens.
Charles junior was quickly recognized for his pictorial representations of dogs and cats in interiors. He did not portray the animals, they rather were active participants. They are most often depicted in touching or playful situations, which bring his work to life.
Charles was also an active member of “L’Essor”, an art circle founded in 1876 when realism became a unifying movement among many young artists. The motto of L’Essor was “One art, one life” and thus emphasized the link between Art and Life. The founders were seen as progressive and rebelled against academic conservatism.
From 1881 onwards, he exhibited regularly at the Brussels, Liege, Ghent and Antwerp salons, but also in Holland, Germany and even Spain. He received numerous medals and was highly coveted. He carried out numerous commissions, notably for Queen Marie-Henriette of Belgium.
Charles Van den Eycken is considered one of the most important artists of domestic animals of the 19th century.
Works in the museums of Antwerp, Brussels, Ixelles and Courtrai.