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Baron Leys, Henri



Baron Leys, Henri
Antwerp 1815 – Antwerp 1869






Oil on panel


62.5 x 45.1 cm


Mrs. R. MacD. Paterson Bequest, inv. 1949.1014


Western Art

The Revolution of 1830 resulted in a liberal, constitutional monarchy in Belgium and gave birth to a new, Romantic generation. After studying at Antwerp’s art academy, Henri Leys made fruitful contacts in Paris, notably with Eugène Delacroix and Paul Delaroche. He visited museums in Holland and Germany, growing enthusiastic for the primitives as well as the masters of the Northern European Renaissance. In a new wave of national pride that swept through Belgium, Leys became engrossed in the history of sixteenth-century Antwerp, when the city was a vibrant economic and cultural centre of Europe. Leys depicted Flanders’ historical customs and manners with sensitivity, recreating the soul of Antwerp. Typical of Leys’ art is the refinement of a traditional oil-on-wood-panel technique, a balanced composition with illumination-like perspective and a meticulous style kindled by colours bathed in warm light.

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