Henri Evenepoel

Henri Jacques Édouard Evenepoel (3 October 1872 in Nice – 27 December 1899 in Paris) was a Belgian painter, draftsman and engraver, whose most important works are associated with Fauvism.

Henri Evenepoel was born from Brussels parents. Her mother died two years after her birth. His father, Edmond Evenepoel, is a high-ranking Belgian official, highly cultured and music lover, to whom Henri will remain closely linked. He attended drawing classes at the Academy of Saint-Josse-ten-Noode as well as the workshop of the painter Ernest Blanc-Garin and the decorator Adolphe Crespin at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels.

In 1892, he settled in Paris. He lives with his cousin, Louise De Mey, who will be one of his favorite models. He studied at Gustave Moreau’s studio at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he met Henri Matisse, Simon Bussy, Albert Huyot, Georges Rouault and Charles Milcendeau. He made friends with this Vendean painter and met him with the Spanish artist Francisco Iturrino, who is represented in L’Espoir in Paris (Ghent Museum).

In 1894, her cousin Louise gave birth to her son Charles, who appeared on several of his child portraits.

The artist debuted a portrait of his cousin (Louise in Mourning) at the 1894 Salon des Artistes Français. He showed four portraits at the Salon du Champ-de-Mars in 1895 and continued to exhibit there until his death.

In 1897, Henri Evenepoel falls ill and stays a few months in Algeria to take care of himself. He became acquainted with the French painter Raoul du Gardier, who, like him, attended the studio of Gustave Moreau. The color of his paintings is influenced by his stay in Algeria.

Back in Paris, Evenepoel produced large compositions such as Promenade du dimanche at Bois de Boulogne. His career started, he was successful and his work was appreciated.

His first solo exhibition came at the Brussels Cercle Artistique (December 1897 – January 1898). Family and friends were the artist’s preferred subjects; his full-length portraits, often against a neutral background, show the influence of Édouard Manet and James Abbott McNeill Whistler. His Parisian scenes were influenced by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Jean-Louis Forain. Though his early scenes had a somber palette, his paintings while in Algeria (where he first wintered during his solo exhibition) were very different in style, anticipating the bold colours of Fauvism (e.g., Orange Market, Blidah).

In 1899 he received an invitation from Octave Maus to participate in the Salon de La Libre Esthétique in 1900 and was invited by the organizers of the Belgian section of the Universal Exhibition in Paris. Henry Evenepoel then plans to return to Belgium to marry his cousin Louise, whose divorce will soon be pronounced, and to recognize her son Charles.

Evenepoel died of typhus in Paris at the age of 27. A few days before his return to Brussels, on 27 December 1899, he died prematurely in Paris, carried away by typhoid fever.

The commune of Schaerbeek (Brussels) pays homage to him by giving his name to one of its arteries: the street Henri Evenepoel. The commune of Fooz-Wépion also dedicates one of its arteries called of the same name.

Belgium issues two commemorative stamps depicting works by Henri Evenepoel: Henriette in the big hat and Le Petit Charles in striped jersey.

1892: The Artist in front of a landscape, charcoal, ENSBA.
1894: Louise in mourning, at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Antwerp.
1895: The Baby or The Broken Toy, at the Museum of Fine Arts of Liège.
1896? : Antwerp Exhibition, poster reproduced in The Masters of the Poster (1895-1900).
At the Moulin Rouge, Museum of Fine Arts Houston.
The Lady with the green hat, the Museum of Fine Arts of Liège.
The Cook.
Au square, lithograph, in L’Estampe moderne.
The Foire aux Invalides, the Museum of Fine Arts of Liège.
1898: 40th exhibition of the Salon des Cent (lithographed poster)
Sunday walk to the Bois de Boulogne (called for a long Sunday walk in Saint-Cloud), at the Museum of Fine Arts of Liège.
The Spaniard in Paris (portrait of the painter Francisco Iturrino), Ghent Museum of Fine Arts
Little Charles with striped jersey
The Tea Cup
Portrait of Madame Crespin
Mademoiselle Matisse
Henriette with the big hat, royal museums of Brussels, museum End of the century
Portrait of Mrs. D. (in mourning)
Portrait of the painter Paul Baignères3 (or Portrait of man in red), musée End of the century, 1894