Frans Van Holder (1881-1919): 'Symphonie en bleue', oil on canvas, dated 1912


Work: 137,5 x 125 cm

Frame: 161 x 150 cm


Frans Van Holder was a post-Impressionist painter of the Belle Epoque and Art Nouveau period in Brussels. He was renowned for his portraits of the Brussels aristocracy, such as members of the Wolfers family. He started out in his father’s workshop as a painter-decorator. Numerous parlors and interiors of the Brussels bourgeoisie were designed and painted by the Van Holder workshop. It is therefore not surprising that his style so closely follows the spirit of the Art Nouveau movement. Later Van Holder went for further training at the academy of Sint-Gillis. After a tour in Spain, Italy and Switzerland, he returned to Brussels. In 1905 he joined the ‘Pour l’Art’ association. It is said that Van Holder prime concern is harmony: both his eyes and his ears balk at the slightest discord, and for him, colour must have rhythm, balance, the unity of a piece of music. He thus works by instinct, as he has no time for theories.