Florent Joseph Marie Willems

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Florent Willems

Florent Joseph Marie Willems (8 January 1823 – 23 October 1905) was a Belgian painter.


Painter at his easel shows his work to a girl (1852)

Willems was born at Liège. He had no regular tuition in painting, but learnt by copying and restoring old pictures at Mechelen, where he lived from 1832. He made his debut at the Brussels Salon in 1842 with A Music Party and an Interior of a 17th-century Guard-room in the style of Gerard ter Borch and Gabriel Metsu. Soon afterwards he settled in Paris, where his pictures enjoyed considerable popularity under the Second French Empire. Among his most famous works may be mentioned The Wedding Dress (Brussels Gallery), La Fete des grands-parents (Brussels Gallery), Le Baise-main (Mme. Cardon's collection, Brussels), Farewell (Willems coll., Brussels), The Arches of the Peace (Delahaye Collection, Antwerp) and The Widow (engraved by David Joseph Desvachez, 1822-1902). He died at Neuilly-sur-Seine.

He is well known in the United States, good examples of his works being in the Metropolitan Museum (New York), the Art Institute of Chicago, and other public and private collections.[1] His favorite subjects are taken from the seventeenth century.



  • P. & V. Berko, "Dictionary of Belgian painters born between 1750 & 1875", Knokke 1981, p. 795-798.
  • P. & V. Berko, "19th Century European Virtuoso Painters", Knokke 2011, p. 521, illustrations p. 330, 360, 407.
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Willems, Florent Joseph Marie". Encyclopædia Britannica. 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Florent Willems at Wikimedia Commons