hendrik conscience

Frans van Kuyck - Trudging Through the Snow

pastel (50 x 70 cm)

private collection

Frans Pieter Lodewijk van Kuyck (9 June 1852, Antwerp - 31 May 1915, Antwerp) was a Belgian painter and graphic artist. He is also known for helping to establish Mother’s Day in Belgium.

He came from a family of artists. His father was the painter Louis Van Kuyck. His grandfather was also a painter and his son was the architect Walter Van Kuyck (1876-1934). He studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and his first well-known work was the official poster for the Exposition Universelle d'Anvers (1885).
Later, as a teacher at the Academy, he became involved in the cultural and political life of Antwerp. In 1888, he became a provincieraad (county councilor) and, from 1891, served as an Alderman of Fine Arts on the Antwerp City Council. He also sat on the boards of several museums, including what is now the Plantin-Moretus Museum, and was chairman of the “Koninklijk Kunstverbond Antwerpen” (Cercle Royal Artistique). During his time in office, the Vlaamse Opera Company was officially established and monuments were erected for Peter Benoit, Hendrik Conscience and Jan Van Rijswijck. On his initiative, the city acquired Schoonselhof cemetery and created the Nachtegalen Park. He was also the driving force behind the purchase and restoration of the “Vleeshuis” (a Medieval Guild Hall). In addition, he oversaw the beautification and expansion of the Leysstraat in 1898.
In the Summer of 1913, he wrote a pamphlet, De Dag der moeders (Mother’s Day) and formed the first committee to promote its establishment as an official holiday.

3

Aww man. Yesterday I went to the Hendrik Conscience historical library and I was finally able to lay my hands on a copy of Ernst Haechel’s Kunstformen der Natur. It was so wonderful. The book was restored, but that didn’t really matter, at least it didn’t fall apart while I was reading it haha.
What amazed me the most was the fact that this book had such a profound influence on the Art Nouveau movement. Not only the shapes of nature, but also Haeckel’s craving for symmetry, many a time made me like I was looking at vases and lampshades in stead. The middle picture shows a set of intresting looking animals, but they might have been the helmet collection of Queen Jadis (aka the White Witch of Narnia)!
All-in-all an awesome book. I wished Haeckel had made more books like these.