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Dillens Henri Joseph

Ghent 1812 – 1872 Brussels

Belgian Painter

Small Boys Playing War Games

Signature: Signed bottom right and dated 1857
Medium: Oil on mahogany panel
Dimensions: Image size 40,50 x 33,50 cm, frame size 75,50 x 67 cm

Henri Joseph Dillens was born in the charming city of Ghent on December 20, 1812. An artist of remarkable versatility, he painted portraits, genre scenes, and historical narratives with equal finesse. Not confined to a single medium, he also excelled in aquatint and lithography. One of his recurring themes was the captivating story of Henri IV, which seemed to hold a special place in his heart.

Within his artistic lineage, Henri’s younger brother Adolphe breathed life into depictions of peasant life. Following in his father’s footsteps, Albert Dillens embraced painting, while Julien Dillens chose the path of a sculptor.

Henri Joseph’s artistic journey began within the hallowed halls of his hometown’s Academy and later at Maes-Canini, where he honed his craft until 1830. Between 1843 and 1854, he found himself immersed in the vibrant artistic scene of Antwerp before settling down in the welcoming embrace of Brussels.

Throughout his creative tenure, Henri’s works graced the walls of numerous exhibitions, each a testament to his enduring impact. He showcased his brilliance at the Ghent Salon in 1859 and 1862, while Brussels became a canvas for his artistry in 1854 and 1860. Antwerp recognized his talent in 1861 and 1870, and on an international stage, his creations were featured at the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1867.

Regrettably, Henri Joseph Dillens’ journey reached its end on December 4, 1872, in Brussels. However, his legacy persisted, finding refuge in both private and public collections. Museums across Brussels, Ghent, Kortrijk, Liège, Ostend, and Ypres proudly displayed his works, offering a glimpse into his soul. Even the distant Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg became a custodian of his artistic spirit.

As time marches on, Henri Joseph Dillens’ artistic achievements continue to shine brightly, casting a timeless glow that resonates across generations.

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