World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Jean-François Portaels

Article Id: WHEBN0002706353
Reproduction Date:

Title: Jean-François Portaels  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Jacques de Lalaing (artist), Belgium/Anniversaries/February/February 8, Belgium/Anniversaries/April/April 3, Edouard Agneessens, Auguste Levêque
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Jean-François Portaels

Paul Déroulède in 1877, painted by Jean-Francois Portaels

Jean-François Portaels (3 April 1818 – 8 February 1895) was a Belgian orientalist painter and director of the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels.


  • Life 1
  • Work and influence 2
  • Museums 3
  • Notes 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Portaels was born in Vilvoorde. His father, a rich brewer, sent him to study at the Royal Academy, whose director, François Navez, took him on soon after in his own workshop. About 1841 Portaels went to Paris, where he was well received by Paul Delaroche.

The Rose Vendor

After his return to Belgium, he won the Grand Prix de Rome in 1842. He then travelled through Italy, Greece, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, the Lebanon, Judaea, Spain, Hungary and Norway. On his return to Belgium in 1847 Portaels succeeded H. Vanderhaert as Director of the Academy in Ghent. In 1849 he married the daughter of his first teacher, Navez, and in 1850 he settled in Brussels; but when he did not get the post of director of the Brussels academy, and wished, nevertheless, to carry on teaching as his father-in-law had done, he opened a private studio-school, which became one of great significance in the development of Belgian art. Once more he went on his travels, spending time in Morocco; he returned to Brussels in 1874, and in 1878 became Director of the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts which had so long been the object of his ambition. He died in Schaerbeek.

Work and influence

Oriental woman

Portaels was an extremely prolific artist. Huge oil paintings adorning the walls of St Jacques-sur-Caudenberg; biblical scenes, such as The Daughter of Sion Reviled (in the Brussels Gallery), The Death of Judas, The Magi travelling to Bethlehem, Judiths Prayer, and The Drought in Judaea; genre pictures, such as A Box in the Theatre at Budapest (Brussels Gallery), portraits of officials and of high society, Oriental scenes and, above all, pictures of exotic female figures and exotic life. "His work is usually marked by an easy grace, which he perhaps uses to excess", wrote Théophile Gautier. But his pleasing and abundant productions as a painter do not constitute Portaels' crowning merit.

His high place in the history of contemporary Belgian art is due to his influence as a learned and clear-sighted teacher, who guided, among many others, painters such as Emile Wauters, Théo van Rysselberghe, Edouard Agneesens and Jef Leempoels, sculptors Charles van der Stappen and Jacques de Lalaing, and the architect Charles Licot.

In 1851 Portaels was awarded the Order of Leopold.[1]


  • Brussels, Koninklijke Musea voor Schone Kunsten van België
  • Ostend, KaZ


  1. ^ Cyclopedia of painters and paintings, Volume 3 edited by John Denison Champlin, Charles Callahan Perkins


  • P. & V. Berko, "Dictionary of Belgian painters born between 1750 & 1875", Knokke 1981, p. 527-528.
  • P. & V. Berko, "19th Century European Virtuoso Painters", Knokke 2011, p. 512, illustrations p. 426, 427 & 462-463.
  • E. L. d Taeye, Peintres belges contemporains; J. du Jardin, L'Art flamand.

External links

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.