Albrecht De Vriendt (1843-1900): Othello and Desdemona, oil on canvas

Work: 140 x 100,5 cm

Frame: 186 x 146,5 cm

 

Othello or 'The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice' is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare, around 1603. The story revolves around two characters, Othello and Iago. Othello is a Moorish military commander who was serving as a general of the Venetian army in defence of Cyprus against invasion by Ottoman Turks. He had recently married Desdemona, a beautiful and wealthy Venetian lady younger than himself, without the knowledge of and despite the later objection of her father. Iago is Othello's malevolent ensign, who maliciously stokes his master's jealousy until the usually stoic Moor kills his beloved wife in a fit of blind rage. Due to its enduring themes of passion, jealousy, and race, Othello is still topical and popular and is widely performed, with numerous adaptations (link).

The Belgian painter Albrecht François Lieven De Vriendt (Ghent, December 8, 1843 - Antwerp, October 14, 1900) was the son of decorative painter Jan Bernard (Jean) de Vriendt (1809-1868), who passed on his interest in Flemish art and language to his sons, Juliaan and Albrecht. After receiving initial training from him, the brothers moved to Antwerp, where they came under the influence of Hendrik Leys. The brothers would make several trips together. In 1869 they visited Germany, in 1880 Italy. That same year they also went to Egypt and Palestine. After the death of Karel Verlat, De Vriendt was appointed director of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Antwerp in 1891. When he died in 1900, it was his brother who took over this position. One of the painter's masterpieces is his decoration of the Gothic hall in the town hall of Bruges, a work completed by his brother and his son Samuel De Vriendt. The artist was a member of various academies and societies. He also received several honors. Since 1894, he has been commander of the Order of Leopold, grand officer of the Order of Isabella and commander of the Order of Merit of Saint Michael. His students included Pieter Franciscus Dierckx, Georges Lemmers, Frans Mortelmans, Isidore Opsomer and Emile Rommelaere (link). 

 

Provenance:

- The reverse with different (collection) numbers and (exhibition) labels.

- Private collection, Belgium.

Estimate: € 12000 - € 18000