Kindt, Adèle (1804-1884)

Kindt, Adèle (1804-1884)
Kindt, Adèle (1804-1884)

Adèle Kindt was a distinguished Belgian painter of portraits, history subjects and genre. A precocious talent, from an early age she was destined to become one of the leading female artists of her generation.

In a self-portrait, produced around 1820, we see her looking towards the viewer, eyes fizzing with curiosity, hair somewhat dishevelled. There’s spirit, a sense of movement - as if she barely had the patience to complete it.

Adele Kindt

Her father, Charles Kindt, a chief civil servant, noticed her unusual ability and sent her to train with a friend, Mr. A. A. J. Cardon, Professor at the Drawing Academy in Brussels. And before long, she was receiving tuition from the great neoclassical master Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825), and subsequently two of his finest students, Sophie Frémiet Rude (1799-1867) and the history painter, François-Joseph Navez (1787-1869). Her precision owes much to the latter.

It’s intriguing to consider how she operated in the male-dominated world of history painting as it wouldn’t have been the easiest environment. It’s telling that, by 22, she’d already won first prize at the Royal Academy in Ghent. And by 32, she’d amassed a cabinet of medals, including those from Douai, Cambrai, Ghent, and Brussels. Three academies elected her a member.

A versatile painter, her subjects varied from those enhanced with rich dramatic narratives, such as ‘The Revolution of 1830’, through to quieter, Raphael-esque, depictions of demure siblings. While her portraits were rendered with the same level of care - exquisite details amplified via gentle chiaroscuro.

Adèle Kindt forged a successful career through determination, respect for her tutors, and a graceful approach to her patrons. Her youthful enthusiasm translated into numerous hours in the studio - honing her draughtsmanship in the image of the old masters.

She’s represented in numerous public collections including the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Belgium, and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.


Ghent Salon, Brussels Salon, New York Crystal Palace, Royal Dublin Society, Douaij, Kamerrijk.

Public Collections

Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp, Museum of Fine Arts Ghent, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, The Hague Museum, Kortrijk Museum. 



Born in Brussels to Charles Kindt, a chief civil servant, and Marie Anne Kindt (nee Buttos).

Initially trained by A. A. J. Cardon, Professor of Drawing at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Brussels. 

C. 1824-1825

Tutored by Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825).

C. 1825

Following David’s death, she trained under his pupil Sophie Frémiet Rude (1799-1867).

Trained under François-Joseph Navez (1787-1869).


Awarded a gold medal at the Ghent Salon for ‘Count Egmont’s Last Good-Bye to his Spouse Isabella of Bavaria.’


Awarded a medal in Douaij.
Elected a member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Brussels.


Awarded a medal in Kamerrijk.
Her painting ‘ Melanchthon Predicting His Future For Prince Willem I’ exhibited at The Hague, was acquired by the Dutch government.


Awarded a medal in Douaij.


Awarded a medal in Kamerrijk.


Awarded a medal at the Ghent Salon.
Elected a member of The Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Ghent.


Awarded a medal at the Brussels Salon.


Awarded a medal in Kamerrijk.


Her ‘The Two Marys And The Angel At The Sepulchre’ inspired the poet, Jane Ermina Starkweather, to produce descriptive verse. After reading the poetry, Kindt replied with the following letter.

“Madam, painting and poetry being Sisters, it is to this letter that I come to ask you to accept the homage of the Sketch of the Two Marys, whose painting inspired you to write beautiful verses, which came to find me in Belgium. I could not be more flattered, Madam, to have painted a work which was able to capture your attention and give rise to the beautiful religious thoughts with which your poetry is full. Accept, I beg you, the expression of my admiration for your great talent, and receive, I beg you, Madam, the assurance of my most distinguished feelings”.


Died in Brussels.

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