Benoni Van der Gheynst

Portrait Of A Man In A Bowler Hat

Benoni Van der Gheynst

Portrait Of A Man In A Bowler Hat

This charming early 20th-century oil painting by Belgian artist Benoni Van der Gheynst (1876-1946) depicts a gentleman wearing a white shirt, dark grey waistcoat, black coat, bowtie and tan bowler hat.

During the early part of the 20th century, Van der Gheynst undertook a light-hearted project to paint the characters of Brussels. Referred to as ‘Types et Caracteres par Benoni Vander Gheynst’, this collection of semi-caricatures is a delight to behold. It appears that he worked on these between circa 1904-1906 and some of which were printed as postcards in 1909.

They include, among others, a bourgeois lady gazing at her beloved dog, a civic guard standing proudly with a sword, an old maid, a street busker, and a handsome baron. Our nonchalant bowler-hatted chap is almost certainly one of this set but his identity has been lost over time. With his relaxed posture, bowtie, and pocket watch, perhaps he carries the air of a publican.

Van der Gheynst’s project was regarded with disdain in press reports, probably due to its witty nature. But one gets the impression that he didn’t mind at all.

Signed/dated lower right and framed.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 26” x 45½” / 67cm x 115cm
Year of creation: 1904
Provenance: Private collection, Belgium.
Condition: Artwork presents well. Fine craquelure but the paint is stable. Canvas relined. Frame with some light wear.

Benoni Van der Gheynst

Benoni Van der Gheynst

Benoni Van der Gheynst was an accomplished Belgian painter of figures, portraits, and landscapes, particularly on the French Riviera. He trained at the Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels.

Learn more about Benoni Van der Gheynst in our directory.

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