Félicien Rops

Félicien Rops (7 July 1833 – 23 August 1898) was a Belgian artist, and printmaker in etching and aquatint.

Interestingly when I first looked at some of the paintings I thought it was a woman’s work. What a surprise it was to see that he was a man. Anyway, he is still one of my favourites.


The son of a textile manufacturer, he began his artistic education at the local art academy. At the age of 20 he went to live in Brussels where he frequented the Académie de Saint-Luc and practised lithography. His caricatures of political and other public figures and his satires of middle-class life were first published in the student paper Le Crocodile and then in the magazine Uylenspiegel, for which he worked until 1862, contributing two lithographs a week in 1856, but fewer in the following years. His models were mainly Gavarni and Daumier, but in The Waterloo Medal (1858) one can trace the influence of Gillray, while his impressive L’Ordre règne à Varsovie (1863) was obviously inspired by his French predecessor, Grandville. Rops sometimes preferred to use etching (then coming back into fashion) for his illustrations. He made four etchings for Charles de Coster’s Flemish Legends (1858) and five for his Tales from Brabant (1861). In 1862 he visited Paris where he worked with two of the leading etchers of his time, Félix Bracquemond and Jules Jacquemart. He concentrated increasingly on etching and from about 1865 abandoned lithography altogether.



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