Théo van Rysselberghe, Belgian painter, was born in Ghent in 1862. He studied art at the Academies in Ghent and Brussels, and in 1881 exhibited for the first time at the Salon in Brussels. After the success of the French Impressionists exhibition in Brussels in early 1880s, Théo van Rysselberghe began to explore their technique. In 1883 he became a co-founder of the avant-garde group of Brussels intellectuals ‘Les-Vingt’. In 1886 the painter traveled with the poet Emile Verhaeren to Paris, where he met Georges Seurat (1859-1891) and admired his painting ‘A Sunday Afternoon at the Island of Grande Jatte’. After the contacts with Neo-Impressionists in Paris Théo van Rysselberghe turned to Pointillism himself, becoming the main exponent of the style in Belgium. In the late 1880s- early 1890s the painter traveled in Spain, North Africa, the Middle East and Europe. From 1897 he lived in Paris. After the death of Georges Seurat, Théo van Rysselberghe gradually abandoned the Pointillist technique. Despite their friendship Paul Signac often criticized him, thinking that Théo did it only for commercial success. We think that Impressionist style of brushwork gives more opportunities to a painter and van Rysselberghe’s switch from Pointillism was to broaden his methods of expressing himself.
Théo van Rysselberghe died in 1926 in St. Clair.
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Neo-Impressionist Painters: A Sourcebook on Georges Seurat, Camille Pissarro, Paul Signac, Theo Van Rysselberghe, Henri Edmond Cross, Charles Angrand by Russell T. Clement, Annick Houze. Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999.
1886. Oil on canvas. 90 x 70.5 cm. Musée des Beaux-Arts, Ghent, Belgium.