(Liège 1823 - Neuilly-sur-seine 1905)

Nice interior scene of a mother playing the guitar to her child. Beautiful details, fabrics and expression in the great tradition of the artist. Signed lower left, oil on panel.

Dim: H 78cm x W 70cm - H 44 cm x 35cm

Belgian School

Litt.: Florent Joseph Marie Willems (8 January 1823 – 23 October 1905) was a Belgian genre and portrait painter. Willems was born at Liège. He learnt painting by copying and restoring old painting while a student of Dutch Old Masters at the Mechelen Academy, where he lived from 1832. He made his debut at the Brussels Salon in 1842 with “A Music Party” and an “Interior of a 17th-century Guard-room” (in the style of Gerard ter Borch and Gabriel Metsu) where the King of Belgium, Léopold the 1st, acquired them. Willems received from the Court several commissions for portraits in historical costumes after that. 

With his friend Alfred Stevens, he deepens his knowledge of the technique of Flemish masters of the seventeenth century and moved to Paris. There (1844), his pictures enjoyed considerable popularity. He was awarded numerous medals and the Legion of Honour.  Two of his works, exhibited at the Salon of 1855 –“ The Interior of a Silk Merchant in 1660” and ”Coquetterie”  were acquired by the Emperor Napoléon III and the Empress Eugenie of France.
The Louvre Museum solicits him for the restoration of some of his paintings, including Raphael's Saint John the Baptist! Willems preferred to paint on panel, which enabled him to smoothly apply his fine glazing technique while having great control over his brush. He loves to paint 17th century scenes. He died at Neuilly-sur-Seine.
Works of Willems in the following museum: “The preparation of the Bride”, “The party at the Duchess” and “Woman with dog” at the Royal Fine Arts Museum collection, Belgium; “A painter at his easel showing a painting to a girl” in the Amsterdam Museum, “The Important responds”, in the Walters Art Museum of Baltimore and “the new mother” in the Knolhs Collection (USA); “ The Arches of the Peace” in the Delahaye Collection, Antwerp; others in Bruges, in the Metropolitan Museum of New York, in the Art Institute of Chicago, and other public and private collections.