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Maurice Van Essche - South African Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - Maurice Van Essche (1906 - 1977)

Maurice Van Essche was born in Antwerp, Belgium 1906 - 1977

Art Education
- 1924 Maurice Van Essche studied art at the Brussels Academy under James Ensor.
- 1933 Studied art under Matisse, S of Paris, France.

Short Artist Biography
- Maurice Van Essche's family moved to Brussels when he was five years old; was educated there.
- 1925 Interrupted his studies to earn a living working in stained glass studio which had some influence on the development of his painting style.
- 1930 Maurice Van Essche became a member of the group 'La Jeune Peinture Belge'; won silver medal at the International Exhibition, Antwerp.
- 1933 Married Lucie Josz; studied under Matisse in South of France; group and one-man exhibitions in Paris and Belgian centres.
- 1939 Government sponsored painting expedition to Belgian Congo.
- 1940 Maurice Van Essche was exiled by German occupation of Belgium, moved to South Africa; stayed temporarily in Cape Town; began exhibiting in South Africa.
- 1943 to 1945 Maurice Van Essche lectured at Wits Tech Art School, member of New Group.
- 1946 Founded Continental School of Art, Cape Town.
- 1948 Foundation member of International Art Club; exhibited with fellow members in Turin, later elected chairman.
- 1951 Maurice Van Essche awarded the title of Chevalier de Leopold II by King Badouin of Belgium.
- 1952 Appointed lecturer in Fine Art, Michaelis School, Cape Town; reputation in South Africa grown considerably; continued to exhibit at intervals in Europe; regularly represented South Africa on in international art exhibitions 1948 - 65.
- 1962 Maurice Van Essche appointed Professor of Fine Art, Michaelis School, UCT.
- 1966 Awarded Medal of Honour for Painting by South African Akademie.
- 1967 Subject of monograph 'Van Essche', by Carl Buchner.
- 1970 Maurice Van Essche retired from Michaelis School.
- 1971 Departed for Europe; settled in France.
- 1972 Maurice Van Essche awarded the title Officer of Order of Leopold II by King Badouin of Belgium.
- 1974 Unable to attend Prestige Retrospective Exhibition of his work, South African National Art Gallery and Pretoria Art Museum; had several heart attacks but continued to paint whenever possible.

Art Exhibitions
- 1927 First one-man exhibition, Brussels.
- 1930 and 1935 La Jeune Peinture Belge, Brussels and Paris.
- 1937 Ghent Salon.
- 1939 One-man art exhibitions, Elizabethville, Leopoldville.
- 1941 First South African one-man art exhibition, Cape Town.
- 1948 Overseas Exhibition of South African Art, Tate Gallery.
- 1948 to 1952 Exhibitions of International Art Club, South Africa.
- 1950 Venice Bienalle.
- 1952 Van Riebeeck Tercent Exhibition, Cape Town; Venice Bienalle.
- 1953 Rhodes Centenary Exhibition, Bulawayo.
- 1954 Venice Bienalle.
- 1956 First Quad of South African Art.
- 1957 Sao Paulo Bienalle.
- 1960 Second Quad of South African Art.
- 1961 Sao Paulo Bienalle.
- 1963 Sao Paulo Bienalle.
- 1965 Sao Paulo Bienalle.
- 1966 Republic Fest Exhibition, Pretoria.
- 1969 Group Exhibition, 'Le Petit Palais', Geneva.
- 1971 Republic Fest Exhibition.
- 1974/5 Prestige Retrospective Exhibition, South African National Art Gallery and Pretoria Art Museum.

Public Art Collections
South African National Art Gallery; Johannesburg Art Gallery; Pretoria Art museum; Durban Art Gallery; William Humphreys Art Gallery; AC White Gallery, Bloemfontein; Hester Rupert Museum; Rembrandt Foundation; King George VI Gallery; University of Wits Art Gallery, UNISA.

Berman, E. 1994. Art & Artists of South Africa . Southern Book Publishers.

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