Subscribe to our newsletter


Luminist Anna Boch

Luminist Anna Boch - Lyklema Fine Art

Rosalie-Anna Boch (Saint-Vaast 1848 – 1936 Elsene) was an impressionist and luminist painter known for landscapes and still lifes. Boch was born into the wealthy Belgian Boch family, active in the faience and ceramic industry for years: Royal Boch. Another branch of the family is known for Villeroy & Boch. Anna was the oldest child in the family. She received part of her education at a boarding school in Mons and later in Cologne.

Anna's parents were excellent artists, and drawing was a common activity during vacations. When her mother died in Switzerland in 1871, the family moved to Brussels. It was here that Anna met several painters and received her first painting lessons from Pierre-Louis Kuhnen. From 1876, she painted en plein air with Isidore Verheyden. Under his influence, her color palette lightened, and she began to paint with more powerful strokes.

She debuted at the Brussels Salon in 1880 and held her first solo exhibition at the Cercle artistique et littéraire in 1884. She exhibited a painting at the Salon de Paris in 1885. In the same year, as the only female member, she joined Les XX, founded by her cousin Octave Maus. Theo Van Rysselberghe particularly influenced her from 1888. In this impressionist and pointillist phase, she, like Van Rysselberghe, was highly fascinated by the play of light and reflection on the sea.

As an engaged artist, she came into contact with most major names in the art world of her time. Her Art Nouveau home, decorated by Victor Horta and Maurice Denis, became a meeting place for the intelligentsia of that period. In Arles, Van Gogh had met and painted her younger brother (also a painter) Eugène Boch in 1888, and the two became friends. Anna became the only person to ever buy a work from Vincent van Gogh during his lifetime: 'La vigne rouge,' purchased for 400 French francs at the Salon des XX in 1890, where Seurat also shook the art world with his pointillist 'Dimanche d’été à la Grande Jatte.'

Eventually, she found that the divisionist technique hindered the free and spontaneous movement of her brushstrokes. When Les XX disbanded in 1893, Anna Boch joined the new art circle La Libre Esthétique, also founded by Octave Maus. After the turn of the century, she also joined the post-impressionist art circle Vie et Lumière, where she came into contact with Emile Claus, Adrien-Joseph Heymans, and friends from Les XX, such as James Ensor. Around this time, she developed her highly personal style, combining a realistic representation with light brushstrokes that leaned towards impressionism. Thanks to Van Rysselberghe's influence, she participated in the Salon des Indépendants in Paris in 1891 and 1892.

Anna Boch remained unmarried, and her wealth allowed her to remain completely independent, living off and for her art. Around the turn of the century, she traveled, often with her brother, to the Netherlands, Italy, the south of France, Spain, and Morocco, discovering new horizons and the different light of her homeland. Boch expressed her love for the landscapes of Brittany and the Mediterranean in both drawings and paintings. She enjoyed the sight of the waves crashing against cliffs, the southern light, the rugged contours of rocks, and the shadows. In 1906, she traveled with Théo van Rysselberghe to the Dutch Veere, where she painted various views of the city.

In 1911, she was one of the co-founders of Galerie Lyceum, a Brussels association of female visual artists. Her later life became her most fruitful phase. After World War I, her technique changed, moving more towards the avant-garde. By using more powerful, contrasting colors, she approached Fauvism without actually belonging to this short-lived movement.

As a true patron, she built a collection of 212 of her own works and 219 paintings by Belgian and foreign painters. She owned works by artists such as James Ensor, Paul Gauguin, and Paul Signac. She bequeathed a large part of her collection to the Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels, and the rest was sold for the benefit of the poor.

From 1923, her health declined, and she could only work in her studio, limiting herself to portraits and flower still lifes. However, she continued to participate in various exhibitions. Her works can be found in museums in Mons, Brussels, Charleroi, Tournai, Elsene, Ghent, La Louvière, Ostend, Verviers, and Springfield, the Stedelijk Museum.

1892 Elevatie
1892 Elevation
1893 Zelfportret
1893 Selfportrait
1895-Versierd Bord
1895 Ceramic plate painted by Anna

Anna_Boch-Falaise-_Bretagne- foto via wiki
1906 Veere
1906 Veere
Previous Article Next Article