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Art circles in Antwerp, around the end of the 19th century

DE DISTEL - Mechelen (1903-1907)

De Distel
The artistic circle De Distel regrouped a number of local artists of the beginning of the 20th century in Mechelen.
De Distelwas a circle known as tempered progressif, in comparaison to the more conservatif Koninklijke Lucasgilde (1887-1965).
The members stood for a clear realism and were against symbolism.
De Distel who only existed for some years, organised in 1906 and 1907 exhibitions in Mechelen.
They had their own magazine using the same name 'De Distel'.

MEMBERS : a.o.

Theo Blickx - ° 10.02.1875, Mechelen - † 1963 Mechelen
   the actual founder of the circle "De Distel" of Mechelen
   art painter, sculptor, drawing
   education at the Academies of Mechelen and Brussels
   teacher at (and for a number of years director of) the Academy in Mechelen (1913-1940)
   One of his pupils was the painter Rik Wouters of Mechelen and taught him modeling and sketching
                              from 1946 to 1963 he became chairman of the Mechelen Saint Luke Guild
Theodoor Verschaeren - ° 05.11.1874, Mechelen - † ca. 21.06.1397, Muizen
   art painter, graphic artist of genre scenes and portraits, dramaturge
   mainly painted portraits, figures, clowns, interiors and household scenes
   he took lessons at the Art Academy of Mechelen with Willem Geets and director Jan-Willem Rosier
   he became a member of "De Distel" in 1906, as well as from "Onzen Tijd", another progressive Mechelen circle
   teacher at the Mechelen Art Academy from 1921 to 1937
Henri (Rik) Schaepherders - ° 1862, Brugge - † 1949, Mechelen
   art painter of post-impressionism
   specialized in cityscapes of the then Mechelen, still lifes and landscapes
Hendrik Emil (Rik) Wouters - ° 21.08.1882, Mechelen - † 11.07.1916, Amsterdam NL
   sculptor, art painter, drawing, etcher, he is counted among the tendency of Fauvism
   in less than 10 years an oeuvre of 170 paintings, 35 sculptures, 50 etchings, 40 pastels, 1500 drawings was created
   first Belgian artist who binds to a gallery with a contract
   befriend with Edgard Tytgat and Willem Paerels
   Nel, born as Hélène Philomène Lionardine Duerinckx, became his muse and model
                              dies young due to cancer
Ernest Wijnants - ° 24.09.1878, Mechelen - † 8.12.1964, Mechelen
   sculptor, art painter
   formation at the Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels
   taught at the academy in Antwerp from 1926
   taught at the National Higher Institute for Fine Arts in Antwerp from 1931
   designer of the one-franc piece that was in circulation from 10.11.1938 to 12.08.1952
                              in October 1931 he was appointed by royal decree "Professor of Sculpture" at the Higher Institute in Antwerp
                              to replace the renowned Victor Rousseau
                              member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Sciences, Arts and Fine Arts (1938)
Alphonse Van Beurden - ° 23.04.1854 Antwerpen - † 21.08.1938 Antwerpen
   sculptor, ivory worker
   pupil of J.Geefs & 1885 professor at the Academy of Antwerpen
   member of the circle "Als ik kan"
Anna Catharina Kernkamp-Schenck - ° 18.06.1868, Antwerpen - † 9.02.1947, Brasschaat
   art painter
   was a pupil of art painters Ernest Blanc-Garin in Brussels and Henry Rul in Antwerp
   member of the circle "De Distel"
   painted landscapes, seascapes or marines, and cityscapes in an impressionistically realistic style
   exhibited several times, including in Liege (1902), Antwerpen (1904, 1908) and Athens
Karel-Willem Verschaeren - ° 25.07.1881, Mechelen - † 24.10.1928, Mechelen
   art painter
   took lessons at the Art Academy of Mechelen
   became a member in 1906 of the circle "De Distel"
   In the exhibition of February 1907 he exhibited art in the style of 17th-century Dutch interior decorators
Karel Bonaugure (Charles Bonaugure) - ° 3.12.1880, Mechelen - † 3.11.1947, Mechelen
   sculptor, art painter, lakwerker, leraar beeldhouwen
   formation as a sculptor and jewelery designer at the Academy of Mechelen
   followed sculpture at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels
   preferably sculpted busts, portraits, character heads
   made oil paintings, pastels, watercolors, etchings, including portraits, still lifes, landscapes
                              participated in exhibitions in Mechelen, Antwerp, Brussels, Liège
                              was member of the circle "De Distel"
Gustave Nelissen
   member of the circle "De Distel"
E. Stoffels
   member of the circle "De Distel"
City Archive of Mechelen, Collection 'Varia': invitations, newspaper clippings, testimonials, printed matter and manuscripts i.v. Mechelen art associations
(Orig.: Stadsarchief Mechelen, Verzameling ‘Varia' : uitnodigingen, krantenknipsels, getuigschriften, druksels en handschriften i.v.m. Mechelse kunstverenigingen)
Sources : LFM,,, AMVC-Letterenhuis, mechelen.mapt, Wikipedia, standbeelden

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