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Brunin Leon

Antwerp 1861 – 1949

Belgian Painter

Portrait of a Collector

Signature: Signed middle left
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: Image size 61 x 51 cm, frame size 81 x 71 cm

Brunin Leon, born on November 20, 1861, in the enchanting city of Antwerp, Belgium, was a multi-talented artist whose talents spanned painting, sculpture, and more. His artistic legacy includes captivating genre scenes, intricate interiors, stunning landscapes, and lifelike depictions of animals. Under the pseudonyms Demeuter and de Meuter of Meutter, he made a lasting impact on the art world.

From a young age, Brunin was introduced to the world of sculpture at the “L’Academie des Beaux Arts” in Antwerp, where he became the favored student of the renowned sculptor, Frans Joris. However, as he matured, Brunin shifted his focus from sculpture to painting, embarking on this new artistic journey under the guidance of Polydore Beaufaux. Yet, it was his apprenticeship with the world-renowned artist and teacher, Charles Verlat, that truly molded him into a remarkable artist.

Brunin was among the founders of the “Aze ick can” circle, a testament to his dedication to his craft and his desire to collaborate with fellow artists. His exhibitions in 1880 marked the beginning of an extensive and prolific career, with his works displayed not only across Belgium and Holland but also in renowned art hubs like Paris, Philadelphia, Munich, Chicago, Bordeaux, and Liverpool.

One pivotal moment in Brunin’s artistic development was a voyage to Holland, where he had the unique opportunity to study the techniques of old masters, particularly the iconic Rembrandt. This encounter left an indelible mark on his work, enriching his artistic vision.

Brunin’s paintings possess the power to transport viewers three centuries back in time, guiding them through the cloisters of ancient castles. His masterful use of color creates a velvety richness, and his characters appear as if they could step out of the canvas and into the present.

In 1886, Brunin ascended to the role of professor at the Academy of Antwerp, where he continued to hone his craft and impart his knowledge to future generations. He gained widespread recognition for his exceptional portraits and intimate interior scenes. His commitment to historical genre painting and meticulous attention to detail earned accolades, with one admirer, A. Breuer, noting, “In art, he excels in historical genre, and his canvases reveal a scrupulous care for truth.”

Leon Brunin’s remarkable journey in the world of art reached its conclusion on March 13, 1949, in his beloved hometown of Antwerp. Today, his masterpieces can be admired in museums in Antwerp (Belgium), Munich (Germany), and Chicago (Illinois, USA), where they continue to inspire and captivate art enthusiasts, offering a timeless glimpse into the past.

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