Théophile van Rysselberghe “Young Woman on the Banks of the Greve River”

Where is the Greve River?

Théophile aka “Théo” van Rysselberghe (1862-1926) was a Belgian neo-impressionist painter, so I assumed that the Greve River was in Belgian.

A quick internet search pointed me to the southern location of Greve in Chianti, Italy, located about 31 kilometres south of Florence and 42 kilometres north of Siena. The town of Greve is named for Greve, the small, fast-flowing river that runs through it. Situated in the Chianti wine district which stretches south of Florence to just north of Siena, I can imagine the bucolic beauty of the surroundings and feel the warmth that is captured in the painting of the young woman.

Théo van Rysselberghe was a major player in the European art scene at the turn of the twentieth century. On October 28, 1883, he co-founded the Belgian artistic circle Les XX. This was a circle of young radical artists that rebelled against the status quo of the prevailing artistic standards.

Théo van Rysselberghe traveled extensively to Morocco, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. The portraits and landscapes he brought back from his trips are a testament to his insatiable curiosity and desire to capture the essence of what he saw and experienced.

14 Replies to “Théophile van Rysselberghe “Young Woman on the Banks of the Greve River””

  1. Ein wunderbares Portrait dieses belgischen Malers, den ich nicht kannte. Man(n) konzentriert sich in der Regel auf die bekannten Grössen der Malerei. Vielen Dank Rebecca fürs zeigen und eine frohe Zeit.

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    1. Ich stimme voll und ganz zu. Wir kennen die wichtigsten Maler, aber es gibt so viele, von denen ich noch nie gehört habe. Es macht mir Spaß, in die Geschichte zurückzublicken und spannende Künstler zu finden, die in ihrer Zeit einen Unterschied gemacht und diejenigen beeinflusst haben, die nach ihr kamen. Vielen Dank für Ihren Besuch und Ihren aufschlussreichen Kommentar.

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    1. Thank you so much for adding to my understanding of the creative process, Marina. You have inspired me to look deeper into a painting to see where the ideas originated. Artists have always been the leaders in new directions and ways of seeing our world. Sending many hugs back your way!!!

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  2. Another painting of a beautiful lady. I like her hat, and I believe it is a long scarf falling to her waist. At first, I thought the painting included her lovely, dark hair. When I read that our artist was born in Belgian, I assumed that his painting would also be mainly from his home country, but I was surprised to find out that he enjoyed painting in places in Italy and France and elsewhere. The background of the painting shows a lovely green grassy, colorful hillside. It is no wonder that your choice of today’s artist was one of the major artist’s of his day. In fact, since he travelled extensively, he influenced much of the art in the whole area.

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    1. I just heard that our Art Calendar 2022 will be coming soon. Another year of art and exploration awaits us. I am delighted that we are experiencing the calendar together. It is so much fun to discuss our daily art and learn about artists that I have never heard of before. I am delighted that enjoyed this painting! Thank you so much for your detailed comments. Sending hugs!

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  3. Just lovely, Rebecca. I always look forward to your “Friday Paintings.” I’m reading Eliot’s “Romola” and chuckle to myself on almost every page, thinking of you. There are so many historical footnotes in this novel (1492 Florence), I envision you off on searching adventures continuously. I haven’t read a book which required so much background knowledge in a long while. I also remembered you’ve studied Italian in preparation for a trip. “Romola” was recommended on Dave Astor’s blog. Hugs to you, my friend! 🙂

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    1. I just found Romola on Gutenberg Press, Mary Jo. Thank you so much for reminding me of George Eliot’s foray into Florence. We went to Florence in 2004 on our way to Castelraimondo to take a 4 week language course. Italy was just as I imagined it to be – full of art, history, and warmth. That was 18 years ago and yet it seems like yesterday.

      I just read the beginning lines of Romola and I’m back…

      “To the ear of Dante, the same streets rang with the shout and clash of
      fierce battle between rival families; but in the fifteenth century,
      they were only noisy with the unhistorical quarrels and broad jests of
      woolcarders in the cloth-producing quarters of San Martino and Garbo.”

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    1. I am delighted that you enjoyed the painting, Diana. I’m enjoying exploring the background of my calendar paintings because I these paintings remind me that artists/writers/poets are the movers and shakers in our world. I found out that Rysselberghe was in contact with other radical artists, such as James Abbott McNeill Whistler, who had exhibited in Les XX in 1884. I never thought of Rysselberghe and Whistler as being radical, and the Banksy of their day. In my foray back into public domain poetry, I sense that advocacy was brilliant captured in the lines of poetry. I’m so glad that you stopped by. Thank you.

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