Henri Goovaerts

Portrait of Philip Bogaert

Portrait of Philip Bogaert
Dating presumably circa 1890
Material / technique oil on canvas
Dimensions 103 x 83 cm
Provenance Bogaert Family, Maastricht 1937 Gift of Davida de Stürler de Frienisberg, widow of Philippe Matthieu Albert Bogaert, Meerssen, to the City of Maastricht, the Netherlands 1938 Loan from the City of Maastricht to Limburgs Geschied- en Oudheidkundig Genootschap (LGOG) 1968 Transfer from LGOG to present owner
Current residence Collection Bonnefantenmuseum Maastricht
Remarks Philip Jean Joseph Bogaert (1807-1894) was an engineer in the mining and steam industry in Maastricht. He was also an amateur painter. Henri Goovaerts knew the well-to-do Bogaert family from his hometown Maastricht. Goovaerts also painted the portraits of his sons Albert and Charles, his daughter Angeline and his daughter-in-law Virginie. The portrait of Angeline is not known to us. A meaningful detail in this painting are the letters and the dip pen next to Bogaert on the table. During his Prix de Rome study tour Henri Goovaerts would correspond closely with Bogaert. The Bogaert letters that are in the archives of Lily Goovaerts tell us that Bogaert, 58 years older, was a great support to Henri Goovaerts during the difficult moments that he knew on his travels. In this regard Bogaert was not only a friend to Goovaerts but he also fulfilled a father’s role. Besides he was responsible for the distribution of the Prix de Rome money. The State Academy of Art paid the annual amount of 1,200 guilders to Bogaert who then transferred it to Goovaerts in instalments. He saw to it that the money would actually benefit the young painter since Henri used to send a large amout of his grant money plus the money he earned by selling his works along the way, to his parents, who had constant financial problems. In a letter dated January 13, 1893 Bogaert writes to August Allebé, director of the State Academy of Arts, that he will transfer the grant money to Goovaerts in two or three instalments, ‘not because I believe that he does not manage it economically, but to somewhat restrict his generosity towards his parents. This is acted somewhat from self-interest; I would like to make savings for him, especially if he wants to go to Spain. Besides the Spanish school, he will want to see a lot of the old Moorish buildings and traveling is expensive.’ (Letter in the archive of the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten Amsterdam, Noord-Hollands Archief (Haarlem), file 239)
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