On 08 June 2013 at 14:00

Beautés d’Egypte : le voyage des peintres Florent Mols et Jacob Jacobs sur les rives du Nil (1838-1839)

Dr. Eugène Warmenbol

Jacob Jacobs brought us many souvenirs from his travels in the Orient  », wrote one of his critics in 1847  « His canvasses offered all the qualities that we have already observed in this artist.  However, we dare not express our views on the strangeness of this oriental nature, and by consequence we are unable to judge it » He was with Florent Mols, the first in Belgium, to produce works of this genre and he was probably one of the best.

We reserve in our presentation much room for the magnificent recently rediscovered travel journals of Jacobs, because they reveal his experience of Egypt and the Orient « in heat ».  Evidently, to subject himself to take daily notes of the scenes that passed before his eyes permitted him not only to better observe on site, (as pointed out by Théophile Gautier) but also to better recall later on in his atelier.

Nevertheless, the orientalist scenery painted by Jacob Jacobs, and probably also with Florent Mols , has a very « literary » aspect, a descriptive side that we find with Prosper Marilhat, so greatly appreciated by Théophile Gautier, who perhaps was never able to admire the paintings of our two Belgians, who unfortunately didn't expose their paintings outside of Belgium.

Like many others after them, Egypt and the Orient led them to discover light and colour, or at least another light and another kind of colour, without going as far as « hallucinations of cobalt, ultramarine and indigo » dear to the author of «Le Roman de La Momie».

Meanwhile, Charles Stier d’Aertselaer, the patron who paid for their travels, collected antiques…



Cercle de Lorraine


On 08 June 2013 at 14:00

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Dr. Eugène Warmenbol

Chargé de cours,
Université Libre de Bruxelles

Egyptologist. Teaches at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), holding the chair in European Protohistory.