KEYSER, Nicaise de
(b. 1813, Zandvliet, d. 1887, Antwerpen)


Belgian painter. He trained at the Academie in Antwerp with Mathieu Ignace van Brée (1773-1839). He achieved his first success with altarpieces influenced by Rubens but by 1836 had made a name for himself as one of the leading figures of historical Romanticism. Commissions from royal courts and prominent families in Belgium and abroad followed.

After 1840, the artist turned to classicism, frequently finding his subjects in the Bible and mythology. He also executed genre scenes and allegories.

From 1845 he became the portraitist of the great princely and royal families in the Netherlands, Württemberg and Belgium. From 1862 to 1872 he painted a series of paintings on the glory of the School of Antwerp in the halls of Fine Arts Museum in Antwerp. He played a leading role in the Antwerp Royal Academy of which he was the director from 1855 to 1879.

He travelled to England and Scotland (1835), Italy (1840), Germany (1865, 1868, 1869 and 1871) and Spain (1878, 1880). In 1848 he became a member of the Koninklijke Academie in Brussels and from 1855 to 1879 he was director of the Academie in Antwerp. Both his large history paintings and his smaller genre pieces are Romantic in subject-matter, inspiration and in the Baroque character of composition.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.