Hôtel-de-ville de Gand
Selling price: $300
Sold in 2009
One of Europe's greatest nineteenth century architectural artists, Gustave Adolphe Simonau (1810-1870) came from a family with obvious artistic gifts. His boyhood was spent mainly in London where he studied painting under his uncle, Francois Simonau (1783-1859), and lithographic art under his father, Pierre Simonau. From approximately 1815 to 1830, the father owned and ran a successful lithographic printing establishment in that city. After that date he returned to Brussels and published many important lithographs, including those created by his son.
Gustave Simonau's early art was mainly in the field of watercolors, most depicting town and topographical views. These were exhibited extensively throughout both England and Belgium. By 1850 Gustave Simonau had established himself permanently in Brussels and continued to create fine architectural paintings and watercolors.
Beyond any doubt, however, Simonau's most impressive architectural art were his lithographs, particularly the very large examples he contributed to the set published by his father in 1844 under the title, Monuments Gothiques. This original lithograph hails from this series. For a six year period (1838-1844), Simonau traveled throughout France and Belgium delineating some of the greatest achievements of gothic architecture. Altogether he created over forty masterpieces of architectural art on this grand scale.
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