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Van Der Stappen, Charles

VAN DER STAPPEN, CHARLES (1843-1910), Belgian sculptor, was born in Brussels, September 1843. His first contribution to the Brussels Salon was " The Faun's Toilet " of 1869, and thereafter he began to produce work of a high and novel order in every class of sculpture, and soon, along with Paul de Vigne, became recognized as the leader of the section of the new Belgian school of sculpture which, while aiming at truth to life, allowed itself nevertheless to be inspired by the classic perfection of the art of Greece and the spirit of the Italian Renaissance. Van der Stappen has shown his greatest power in decorative sculpture, such as we see in the decoration on the Palais des Postes, Brussels (1872), as well as the pediment " Orchestration " for the Conservatoire de Musique, and the noble bronze group, " The Teaching of Art," on the facade of the Palace of Fine Arts, Brussels. Among his other decorative work are the statues for the Alhambra Theatre and the caryatides for the house of the architect M. de Curte (1874). His best-known monuments are those to " Alexandre Gendebien " (1874) and " Baron Coppens," at Sheel (1875). His statues include " William the Silent," set up in the Square du Petit Sablon, " The Man with the Sword," and " The Sphinx "- the last two in the Brussels Museum. The bronze group " Ompdrailles " was acquired by the Belgian government (1892). In 1893 the sculptor began his collaboration with Constantin Meunier for the elaborate decoration of the botanical gardens of Brussels, and the result of the connexion may be seen in " The Builders of Cities," a group which might almost have come from his companion, so strongly is it imbued with the sentiment and illustrative of the types of the " socialistic art " of Meunier.

See Charles van der Stappen, by Camille Lemonnier; Les Artistes beiges contemporains, by E. L. de Taye; The Renaissance of Sculpture in Belgium, by O. G. Destre'e (London, 1895).

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

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