Isidore  Meyers
Buggenhout  1836-1916  Brussels

Landscape  with  a  Windmill

oil on canvas
37 x 60,5 cm               14.6 x 23.8 in

signed lower left Is.Meyers

Provenance: private collection


Joseph-Jean Isidore Meyers was a pupil of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp with Jacob Jacobs (1812-1879). From 1855 until 1858 Meyers stayed in Paris where he took classes at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. His former fellow-student Adrien-Joseph Heymans joined him in Paris and shared his studio. Together they discovered realism and landscape painting. At their return to Belgium in 1858 they started working in the Kempen-region near the city of Antwerp. In September 1861 Meyers did meet Jacques Rosseels in the village of Kalmthout. Some time afterwards they where joined by several young artists from Antwerp. Meyers and Rosseels both were strong personalities and influenced the other members of this artists-colony. By way of the common theme, the relative seclusion, the identical formation at the Antwerp academy and the achievement of the same ideal this homogeneous group of artists formed the Kalmthouse School. They all achieved to observe and render nature objectively with the use of subtle tonalities, grey accords and a continuously growing attention for the light. The resident artists left Kalmthout around 1870. Heymans went to Brussels, Meyers and Rosseels to Dendermonde where they worked along the banks of the river Schelde. Meyers travelled in 1867 through Denmark and 1871 to Schotland, where he lived for one year in Glasgow. From his return in 1872 until 1877 he went to live in a house on the dyke near the village of Hamme-Driegoten, painting the river Schelde from Dendermonde tot Kruibeke. Here he got the company of many artists like Frans Courtens (1854-1943), Alfred Verwée (1838-1895) and Adrien Lemayeur de Merprès (1844-1923) who became his pupil. After his marriage in 1877 in Hamme Meyers went to live in his native village of Buggenhout-Den Briel on the opposite bank of the river Schelde. Among the artists who were working regularly in Meyers' company especially Frans Van Kuyck (1852-1915) has to be mentioned who practically lived in his house until 1882. In 1883 Isidore Meyers moved to the city of Antwerp and in 1889 finally settled in Brussels. He frequently returned to paint views of the river Schelde - often in the company of  artists like Romain Steppe (1859-1927) - and also worked in towns like Bruges, Mechelen and Ypres.
Isidore Meyers was a painter of landscapes and town views. Always a plein-air artist - painting nature in open air and not in the studio - his oeuvre shows the evolution from realism towards a typical native form of impressionism. A talented draughtsman he also practised etching and was in 1880 one of the founders of the Association des aquafortistes anversois. In 1886 Meyers was a co-founder of the Antwerp association L'Art Indépendant. From 1865 until 1904 he was a teacher at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Dendermonde. Together with Jacques Rosseels - who was director of this academy - he succeeded in introducing a free spirit in and reforming the official art-education in Belgium. Rosseels was the brilliant theoretician, Meyers was the man who took his class outside the academy-building to teach landscape painting en plein-air. This brought many renowned artists to the town of Dendermonde.
From his debut on the Brussels salon in 1860 Isidore Meyers regularly exhibited in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Brussels (on the salon and in the Cercle Artistique et Littéraire), Dendermonde, Gent, Liège and on the Salon du Champ de Mars in Paris. He also exhibited at the Exposition Universelle of 1900 in Paris and was invited to show his work at shows of associations like Voorwaerts in Brussels and Les XIII in Antwerp. Individual and retrospective exhibitions were organised in 1862 in Antwerp (together with Jan Stobbaerts and Adrien-Joseph Heymans), in Brussels in 1891 and 1929, in Dendermonde in 1898 and in Museum de Zilverreiger in Bornem-Weert in 1990. Meyers' oeuvre was rewarded with distinctions - like in Antwerp in 1879 and in Amsterdam in 1883 - and praised by art-critics like Emile Verhaeren. Isidore Meyers was a Knight in the Order of Leopold.

Museums: Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp; Royal Museum of Fine arts of Belgium, Brussels; Collection of the Belgian Senate, Brussels; Royal Collection, Brussels; City Museum, Dendermonde; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Verviers

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