Thursday, October 23, 2014

Theo van Rysselberghe

Elisaeth van Rysselberghe in a Straw Hat
oil on canvas
80 x 70 cm
Private Collection

Theo van Rysselberghe (1862-1926) was a Belgian neo-impressionist painter, sculptor, and designer who headed the large rank of Belgian artists that adhered to Neo-Impressionism. He studied art at the Academies in Ghent and Brussels.

In 1886 he traveled to Paris, where he met Georges Seurat and admired his painting ‘A Sunday Afternoon at the Island of Grande Jatte’. After the contacts with Neo-Impressionists in Paris he turned to Pointillism himself, becoming the main exponent of the style in Belgium. In Paris he had a meeting with Theo Van Gogh and managed thus to invite Vincent Van Gogh to the next exhibition in Brussels. That is where Van Gogh sold Vigne Rouge in Montmajour to Anna Boch, the only painting he ever sold.

During the final decade of the 19th century, he increasingly devoted his time and energies to work in the decorative arts and graphics. After the death of Georges Seurat, he gradually abandoned the Pointillist technique. Despite their friendship Paul Signac often criticized him, thinking that Theo did it only for commercial success.