Victor Lagye (Belgian, 1825-1896) "Young Lovers with a Pet Squirrel"

Victor Lagye (Belgian, 1825-1896) "Young Lovers with a Pet Squirrel"Victor Lagye (Belgian, 1825-1896) "Young Lovers with a Pet Squirrel"

Hammer Price w/ BP


Lot #: 20
Victor Lagye (Belgian, 1825-1896) "Young Lovers with a Pet Squirrel"

Oil on wood panel. Signed 'V. Lagye XX' (lower right).

Musee de Anvers, Belgium
Musee de Brussels
Cologne Museum of Art, Germany
Musee de Ghent, Belgium

28 x 22 in.
The Greenwich Gallery, Greenwich, Connecticut.
Private Corporate Collection, Toronto, Canada.
No in-paint or restoration.
Auction Date
Nov 29, 2023


Catalogue Note: Born in Ghent, northeast of Brussels, Victor Lagye began his studies at the Academy of Anvers. There he was taught by Baron HendrikJan-Augustyn Leys (1815-1869), an important artist and teacher in many disciplines.
Lagye went to Paris for a tour of the museums and ateliers for a brief time before going on to Rome in 1843. At this time in Italy, there was considerable unrest in the land. After the fall of the Napoleonic Empire the nine states of the Italian peninsula came under the control of Austria. That was in 1815, and since that time there were numerous revolutionary uprisings.
Lagye, a student in Rome, aligned himself with the liberal movement that was intent on unifying Italy. The University at which he was studying formed a battalion and served under Garibaldi. Unfortunately, we do not know precisely in what capacity Lagye participated in these revolutionary activities. We do know however that following the suppression of Garibaldi's forces Lagye returned to Belgium in 1849.
Lagye settled in Anvers once again to paint and teach at the Academy along side his old teacher Hendrik Leys. In this fashion he spent the rest of his life, collecting awards of merit along the way. One such was to be named a Chevalier of the order of Leopold in 1872. He created frescoes for a number of State buildings and private homes.
In 1891 Lagye was named a professor supedeurof art at the Institute in Brussels and made its' director in 1895. Young Lovers with a Pet Squirrel is a wonderful example of a style of painting that is most closely associated with the English Pre-Raphael movement that reached its height in the 1860's. Belgium had a parallel movement of romantic and historical painting of its own at the same time. As it so happens, Lagye's teacher, Hendrik Leys was the most important exponent of this manner of painting.
Certainly there is little doubt then that Lagye was influenced by his teacher and the popular trend in this area of genre painting. Young Lovers with a Pet Squirrel displays Lagye's very fine draughtsmanship and a deftness of brushwork that is rarely seen without the classical training that Lagye received.

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