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Madou, Jean Baptiste

MADOU, JEAN BAPTISTE (1796-1877), Belgian painter and lithographer, was born at Brussels on the 3rd of February 1796. He studied at the Brussels Academy of Fine Arts and was a pupil of Francois. While draughtsman to the topographical military division at Courtrai, he received a commission for lithographic work from a Brussels publisher. It was about 1820 that he began his artistic career. Between 1825 and 1827 he contributed to Les Vues pittoresques de la Belgique, to a Life of Napoleon, and to works on the costumes of the Netherlands, and later made a great reputation by his work in La Physionomie de la sociilt en Europe depitis 1400 iusqu' a nos jours (1836) and Les Scenes de la vie des peintres.

It was not until about 1840 that he began to paint in oils, and the success of his early efforts in this medium resulted in a long series of pictures representing scenes of village and city life, including " The Fiddler," " The Jewel Merchant," "The Police Court," "The Drunkard," "The Ill-regulated Household," and "The Village Politicians." Among his numerous works mention may also be made of " The Feast at the Chateau" (1851), "The Unwelcome Guests" (1852, Brussels Gallery), generally regarded as his masterpiece, " The Rat Hunt" (acquired by Leopold II., king of the Belgians), " The Arquebusier "(1860), and "The Stirrup Cup." At the age of sixty-eight he decorated a hall in his house with a series of large paintings representing scenes from La Fontaine's fables, and ten years later made for King Leopold a series of decorative paintings for the chateau of Ciergnon. Madou died at Brussels on the 31st of March 1877.

For a list of his paintings see the annual report of the Academy "of Belgium for 1879. (F. K.*)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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