Fernand Khnopff


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(b Grembergen, nr. Antwerp, 12 Sept. 1858; d Brussels, 12 Nov. 1921).

Belgian painter, active mainly in Brussels, a leading exponent of Symbolism. He came from a wealthy family and gave up law to study art. His work was influenced by diverse sources, including Burne-Jones and Moreau, both of whom he discovered in 1878 at the Exposition Universelle in Paris (Khnopff was fluent in English and later became friendly with Burne-Jones, making several visits to England). In 1883 he was a founder member of Les Vingt in Brussels, but he showed his work mainly in Paris, notably at the Salon de la Rose + Croix. By the 1890s he had an international reputation. His output included many portraits, but he is best known for exotic, sometimes sinister reveries involving beautiful decadent women (I Lock My Door upon Myself, 1891, Neue Pin., Munich). In addition to paintings, he produced book illustrations and sculptures, and he wrote a good deal on art, including several articles in English for The Studio magazine.

Subjects: Art.

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