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Anna Boch – Mu. ZEE, Belgium

1 Jul — 5 Nov 2023

Featuring works by Vincent van Gogh, Paul Signac, Paul Gauguin and many others

Mu.ZEE pays tribute to Anna Boch (1848-1936), painter and maecenas, 175 years after her birth. The exhibition focuses on Anna Boch as an artist and a woman at the end of the nineteenth century in Belgium. Known for being very progressive, she owned a car, travelled frequently, and often alone – not easy for a woman at that time. Just like her impressionist contemporaries Berthe Morisot (1841-1885) in France and Mary Cassat (1844-1926) in the United States, Anna Boch was also born into a very affluent environment. Anna’s brother Eugène (1855-1941) also became a painter in Paris and became friends with Vincent van Gogh. Her cousin, lawyer and writer Octave Maus (1856- 1919), was the founder of the impressionist artists’ groups Les XX and La Libre Esthétique in Brussels. Her family owned the Manufacture Boch Frères Keramis in La Louvière. This impressionist artist enjoyed an international reputation. She was a great music lover and art collector, collecting works by Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Signac, and she had a nose for young talent. Like her fellow artists in France, sea landscapes, nature and travel occupy an important place in her oeuvre. The North Sea also appears as a subject in her work. The Belgian coast and especially Ostend, the city of James Ensor, were no strangers to her. James Ensor, from whom she acquired a key piece called La Musique Russe, was close to her heart. For this exhibition, exceptional loans were granted, such as Paul Signac, La Calanque (KMSKB), Paul Gauguin, Conversation dans les prés Pont-Aven (KMSKB), Vincent van Gogh, Portrait of Eugène Boch (Musée d’Orsay, Paris). After Ostend, the exhibition will move on to the museum of Pont-Aven.

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