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An indefatigable traveler with insatiable curiosity, Van Rysselberghe knew no boundaries but the horizon line and its vanishing point. Today reassembled in his native country, tomorrow scattered again to the four winds, the works of Van Rysselberghe bear witness to an age, to journeys and to personalities, yet are above all an expression of beauty by someone able to see it, contemplate it and translate it into a personal and masterly interpretation. The artist was endowed with ceaseless curiosity, uncommon talent and great sensitivity, over which age and the passing of years seemed to have no hold. Dating from 1925, a year before his death, is not Girl in Bath / Jeune fille au tub, the most sensual picture he ever painted?
Théophile "Théo" van Rysselberghe (23 November 1862 – 14 December 1926); Belgian neo-impressionist painter, who played a pivotal role in the European art scene at the turn of the century.
Born in Ghent to a French-speaking bourgeois family, he studied first at the Academy of Ghent under Theo Canneel and from 1879 at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels under the directorship of Jean-François Portaels. The North African paintings of Portaels had started an orientalist fashion in Belgium. Their impact would strongly influence the young Théo van Rysselberghe. Between 1882 and 1888 he made three trips to Morocco, staying there a total of one year and half.
Barely 18 years old, he already participated at the Salon of Ghent, showing two portraits. Soon afterwards followed his Self-portrait with pipe (1880), painted in somber colours in the Belgian realistic tradition of that time.
...Rysselberghe was one of the prominent co-founders of the Belgian artistic circle Les XX on 28 October 1883. This was a circle of young radical artists, under the patronage, as secretary, of the Brussels jurist and art lover Oct