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Palace of Ancient Art - Expo Liege 1905

Palace of Ancient Art at the Exhibition Expo Liege 1905

The retrospective exhibition of Mosan art organised in Liège in 1881, although of relatively limited proportions (it was held, as is well known, in the cloisters of Saint-Paul, the University and the Emulation), made a real impression on the minds of the archaeologists and enthusiasts who were so numerous in the old city of Saint Lambert, and contributed to developing a taste for the things of the past in the souls of the Walloons.

The Universal Exhibition planned for 1905 was to provide the people of Liège with a new opportunity to make known, but in a larger and more imposing setting, the marvellous artistic productions of the ancient principality.

Mr. Florent Pholien, secretary of the Executive Committee of the Exhibition, conceived the project of an Exhibition of ancient art in the country of Liège, persevered with this interesting question and presented, to this end, a detailed report to the Executive Committee. The latter, understanding the attraction that a retrospective section could give to the Liège World's Fair, adopted the principle in 1900 and entrusted Mr. Pholien with the task of finding the means of organisation. The Government gave this project the warmest of welcomes. Indeed, a royal decree dated 15 June 1903, organising the Government's General Commissariat for the Liège Exhibition, appointed Baron Robert de Selys Fanson as special commissioner for retrospective arts. The Executive Committee of the Société anonyme de l'Exposition entrusted him with the organisation of the Old Art section, placed the necessary credits at his disposal and delegated Mr. Florent Pholien, his General Secretary of Finance, to represent him.

A royal decree of the following 30 September set up a large commission for the patronage of the Ancient Art section, within which a ministerial decree, dated the same day, created an Executive Committee, an active body made up of special competences whose support was necessary to carry out this important undertaking.

The Government Commissioner, Baron de Selys Fanson, found in this committee assiduous collaborators and it is to this bundle of good will that the success of the Exhibition of Ancient Art is due.

On Saturday 24 October 1Q03, the official installation of the Patronage Committee took place in the marriage hall of the Liège Town Hall, under the chairmanship of Mr. Gustave Francotte, Minister of Industry and Labour.

As far as the choice, classification and presentation of the objects are concerned, we are happy to pay tribute to the zeal, tenacity and knowledge of the agents most involved in the organisation of this temporary museum. Let us recall the names: for religious art: of the president Mgr Schoolmeesters, of his secretary M. Paul Lohest, and of Messrs. Balau and P. Daniels; for civil art: the president, Mr. J. E. Demarteau, Mr. Edmond Jamar, his secretary, Mr. Baron de Chestret de Haneffe, Mr. S. Bormans, the late Mr. J. Helbig, Mr. Joseph Brassinne, Mr. Ed. Brahy-Prost, Mr. Paul Van Zuylen, Baron Maurice de Sélys-Longchamps G. Ruhl, Mr. L. Naveau, Baron Louis de Crassier, Mr. Renard-Grenson, Mr. Hans von Winiwarter, Mr. Georges Rasquin, Mr. Florent Pholien and Mr. Jean Charlier.

The Curator of Collections, Mr. Georges Terme, put his long-standing experience at the service of the organisers, and the author of these lines recalls with pleasure having participated in various works.

This time, the picturesque but too narrow cloisters of the Cathedral, and the single Emulation Hall that had been used in 1881, were no longer sufficient for the organisers' ambition.

A palace would house the collections that had to be brought together and showcased. In fact, the building was vast, without being sumptuous, but it was a pleasure to see the reconstruction of the famous Violette, with the coats of arms of the Principality's good towns sheltered under the wings of the double imperial eagle. These heraldic motifs, intimately linked to the splendour of the Principality, gave the old building a charm that is not found in the current Hôtel-de-Ville of Liège, built, as we know, after the bombardment of the city by Marshal de Boufflers.

The success surpassed the most optimistic dreams of the organisers, and the retrospective section was, in the opinion of excellent judges, the main attraction of the first world fair, organised on the banks of the Meuse.

The treasures that were once gathered in the Palace of Ancient Art were once again dispersed: some were returned to the sanctuaries, others were returned to the collectors who watch over them with an almost maternal solicitude.

The crowds of curious visitors were succeeded in the large halls, which had become dull and cold, by the workers busy dismantling the display cases. Then, their task accomplished, the palace was handed over to the demolishers' pickaxe. Now, looking back at this beautiful evocation of Mosan art, one cannot help but feel the melancholy that so often follows enchanting dreams. Who of us will ever see such a museum again? Who would ever think of attempting the effort of so many good people, an effort that brought together for a few months a host of valuable objects: silverware, silverware, brassware, sculptures, furniture, hangings, embroidery, etc.?

furniture, hangings, embroidery, earthenware and glassware? All these treasures, gathered with great difficulty, disappeared in a disappointing scattering. Now, it was not only a powerful art, fertile in so many ways, that this imposing collection of objects recalled, but it was also the past of the Liège region, of which Mr. Godefroid Kurth and Mr. Joseph Demarteau have traced, as it were, the intellectual and moral physiognomy in pages of captivating interest. The following lines do not claim to constitute a memorial; they have no other purpose than to give a rapid sketch of the Retrospective Exhibition. Readers wishing to make a study should also refer to the catalogue of Ancient Art in the Land of Liege and to the Illustrated Album by Mr. G. Terme.

The Palais was devoted to Mosan art in its current sense. Neither the primitive instruments of the Stone Age, nor the crude pottery collected in the caves and huts inhabited by our distant ancestors, nor the vestiges of the Belgo-Roman era and the barbarian invasions were seen there.

The temporary museum began with a 10th century ivory plaque belonging to Liège Cathedral, which depicts three resurrections performed by the Saviour. It would have been a pleasure to see the ivory bas-relief of the Crucifixion from the Treasury of the Church of Notre-Dame in Tongeren and this famous ivory, set with 12th century enamel, in which Notger appears in prayer under the image of Christ in Majesty. Did these venerable monuments originate from Mosan centres proper, or did they come from a Germanic centre?

Although it is difficult at the moment to give an affirmative answer to this question, I think it would not be too much of a risk to admit the first of the alternatives. There were, in fact, very close relations between Germany and the ecclesiastical principality, resulting as much from their proximity as from their political situation. One can even see, to cite just one example, Rhenish architecture penetrating into the heart of the city of Liège. It is not surprising, therefore, that ivories found in the region are closely related to specimens whose German origin cannot be doubted; they betray the intervention of learned clerics, and in this respect, we must not lose sight of the flourishing state of the abbeys of Saint-Trond, Saint-Hubert, Gembloux and Waulsort, where the art was in honour. It was in the last of these monasteries that Wibald, still a young man, drew lessons in knowledge and taste which had such an effective effect on the future abbot of Stavelot, New Corbia and Mount Cassin.

Having indicated the starting point of the Retrospective Exhibition, it will not be without pleasure for the reader if we now proceed in a methodical order.


As the pre-eminence belongs to the goldsmith's art, let me first take a look at the shrines. The shrine of Saint Hadelin, which was transported from Celles, near Dinant, to Visé during the 14th century, stayed in Liège many times at critical moments. The gables of this monument still represent The gables of this monument still represent the art of the 11th century, but the bas-reliefs on the sides belong to the first half of the following century. The life of the holy anchorite is depicted in scenes full of emotion and pious naivety. In fact, the artist shows himself to be uneven; skilful where he draws inspiration from Byzantine works, and almost clumsy when he is left to his own resources. Various comparisons allow us to attribute this monument to the Hutu silversmith, Godefroid de Glaire, the author of the Head of Pope Saint Alexander, kept in the Royal Museums of the Cinquantenaire, and the shrines of Saint Demetrius and Saint Mengold. The latter two, which belong to the collegiate church of Huy, are unfortunately very damaged and have not been included in the Palais de l'Art Ancien. The work of Godfrey of Glaire is very important, for the shrine of St. Servais in Maestricht and that of St. Heribert in Deutz, near Cologne, are also attributed to him; The reliquary of the True Cross in Trier Cathedral, which was on display at the Exhibition, was also from him, not far from the two magnificent enamelled copper discs in the Sigmaringen Museum, which came from the altarpiece that Abbot Wibald had commissioned for the Stavelot Abbey. The drawing of this altarpiece, the execution of which is attributed to Godefroid de Glaire, was found by the archivist van de Casteele; this precious document gives a glimpse of the splendour of this creation, which honours the medieval art of the Meuse region to the highest degree.

These two enamels, entrusted by the Prince of Hohenzollern, constitute the most beautiful work of the Mosan enamelling industry at that time, in terms of the accuracy of the design and the richness of the colours; they are treated in some way like mosaics, which is a particularity of the craftsmen of the Mosan region. Frederick of Cologne, who, according to M. von Falke's conclusions, was a pupil of Godefroid, is already moving away from this technique; the colonial enamellers have, in fact, a tendency to shade their works more, thus showing themselves, to continue our comparison, more painters than mosaicists. The Hutu artist must have had collaborators, both goldsmiths and enamellers; in any case, a school was formed in the first half of the twelfth century, the physiognomy of which is beginning to emerge very clearly from research carried out in recent years. It was at the Dusseldorf Retrospective Exhibition of 1902 that specialists were able to clearly distinguish the two main branches of this powerful school known as Rheno-Mosan.

The reliquary arm of the church of Saint-Ursmer, in Binche, and the triptych in the Duke of Arenberg's collection, on which the Last Judgement is depicted, are clearly linked to the workshops of the Meuse. on which the Last Judgement is depicted. It was not only Godefroid who worked in Cologne, but also Nicolas de Verdun, who made the shrine of the Three Kings in the treasury of Cologne Cathedral. Rarely has the art of the goldsmith risen higher, and such figures equal the most astonishing creations of the Middle Ages.

For the power of observation and the nobility of style, one could give as a term of comparison the figures of the Well of Moses, in Dijon, due to the genius of Claux Sluter. If we had to assign a place among the objects exhibited to the shrine of Saint George and Saint Ode in Amay, we would prefer to place it the influence of Nicolas de Verdun than that of Godefroid de Claire; while the shrine of Saint Remacle, from the abbey of Stavelot, is still, in several respects, the work of the artist
The shrine of Saint Remacle, from Stavelot Abbey, still has several aspects of the Hutu artist: stocky types, strong and angular heads, wild expressions of the physiognomies. Although perhaps more recent, the pride of Stavelot is second only to that of Visé as an expression of art. The bas-reliefs of the latter lack stagecraft and suppleness; and that of the former, thanks to its chiselled crests, its pommels, the richness of its enamels and the relief of the seated figures, takes on a most imposing appearance. From the end of the 13th century, a branch of rare vigour, characterised by the personality of Brother Hugo of Oignies, was grafted onto the main branch of the Mosan school. In terms of style and character of the figures, he is similar to Nicolas of Verdun to a certain extent, but he renounces multicoloured enamels and uses niello with rare skill. In addition, he made ingenious use of embossing, from which he produced delicate foliage and scrollwork.

The full extent of his taste and talent can be appreciated by the presence of an elegant turret containing relics of St Nicholas and a magnificent phylactery, both taken from the treasure of the Sisters of Notre-Dame de Namur.

Although the reliquary cross of the Duke of Arenberg does not come from the workshop of the goldsmith-monk, it is certainly from the same school. Slightly later than these masterpieces is the reliquary statuette of Saint Stephen, also belonging to the duke of Arenberg; the work is from the Mosan region, like the Saint Biaise belonging to Namur cathedral. If it comes from a workshop in our region, it undoubtedly belongs to French plastic art because of its character and the sober and elegant arrangement of the draperies.

The 14th century was represented by the magnificent reliquary of Saint Ursula, the beautiful bust of Saint Pinose from the treasure of the collegiate church of Tongeren and a beautiful reliquary from the church of Saint-Jacques, in Liège; also very important, although in a fragmentary state, is this reliquary with translucent enamels, which is part of the collections of the Liège Archaeological Institute. For lack of space, we can only list the most remarkable pieces.

Many visitors were struck by the number and importance of the monstrances. The most graceful, that of the abbey of Herkenrode, lent by the church of Saint-Quentin, Hasselt, bears the date of 1276; it is considered to be the oldest known, dating back, a fact worthy of note, to the century that saw the establishment of the Feast of Corpus Christi in the Principality of Liege,
the establishment of Corpus Christi. We will then mention the one in the church of Geerdlngen (14th century) and the more recent ones in Marche and Venray. These aediculae are characterised by the vertical cylinder layout, which was maintained well into the 17th century. This arrangement, which dates from the 14th century, will only disappear with the appearance of the suns and canopies dear to Delcour and his successors. For the 16th century, the monstrances of Pailhe (1560), Bolland (1562), and Saint-Remacle, in Verviers, were still remarkable. The following century was represented by the monstrances of the church of Thys (1600), Soiron (1610), Amonines (1614), Saint-Christophe in Liège (1626), Sainte-Véronique in Liège (1643), Saint-Remacle in Liège (1650), Retinne (1657), the church of Saint-Quentin in Hasselt (1669), Herstappe, Saint-Jacques in Liège, the beguinage of Saint-Trond, the Bavarian Hospital, the church of Notre-Dame in Verviers and the church of Saint-Jean in Liège (1673). To this list, we will add that of the baroness of Vivario de Ramezée (1683), another specimen of the Bavarian Hospital, those of the church of St. John and the church of St. Nicholas in Liege and that of the church of Lantin; all of the latter bear the hallmark of Prince Joseph-Clement of Bavaria, who reigned from the year 1694 to 1723. Almost all of this contingent is of Liège origin. The 18th century was recalled by the monstrances of the churches of Saint-Gilles (1728), Sainte-Foi and Saint-Vincent in Liege.

The collection of chalices and ciboria, although imposing in appearance, was less interesting than that of the "monstrances". The archaeologist could follow the history of these precious vessels from the 14th century up to and including the French Empire.

The gothic order runs through the whole of the 16th century, appropriating with great taste the accessory motifs of the style in vogue. At the time of Louis XIV, the goldsmith gave up for good on forms that no doubt seemed outdated: cut, stem, base, choice of iconographic or symbolic motifs, everything was modified.
The execution reveals skill, ease and taste. It would therefore be a great mistake to disdain, now that archaism is more in vogue, the evidence of the skill of modern silversmiths whose feeling is in harmony with the trends of their time.

What attracted everyone was the gold ex-voto donated by Charles le Téméraire to the cathedral of Saint-Lambert. The fearsome Duke of Burgundy is shown kneeling
on his knees, assisted by Saint George. This monument, which was executed by Gérard Loyet, has the peculiarity that the saint and his protégé both have an almost identical physiognomy. Next to this priceless group was a small enamelled gold calvary which was donated to the church of Saint-Ursmer, in Binche, by Marguerite of York, wife of the Bold. This jewel is well made to hold the attention of connoisseurs, but great effects always depend on decorative pieces. In this respect, no more striking effects were ever seen than those obtained by all the great goldsmith busts still to be found in the Mosan region.

Here, enthroned in a glass case, is the bust of Saint Lambert, mitre in the head, holding an open book in one hand and a crosier in the other. His smiling and pleasant face
which has made him so popular in Liège, is not a conventional image, but rather a portrait by Erard de La Marck. This work, full of brilliance and precious down to the smallest detail, came from the hands of Henri Soete, Suavius or Ledoux. The bust of St. Poppon, from Stavelot Abbey, is clearly related to Suavius's masterpiece in its general arrangement, although it dates from a hundred years later. Jean Goesin, who signed it in Liège in 1624, distinguished himself by the frank and skilful execution of the bas-reliefs, the cope and the plinth. He showed himself to be a better master of his art than the author of the bust of Saint Hadelin of Visé, which bears the hallmark of the reign of Maximilian of Bavaria and the year 1650. Jules Helbig assigned the 15th century to the head of an energetic and brutal model, which contrasts advantageously with the characterless head of Saint Poppon. And as it appeared full of a serene majesty, the bust of Saint Perpète, from Dinant, dated 1671, which we believe belongs to the Liège school. The head, which is idealised and reflects a real inspiration, is of a wide and very supple workmanship and the goldsmith has played with all the difficulties in the rejected parts.

There are many productions of our old masters which are the honour of the sanctuaries, but the restricted framework at our disposal obliges us to continue our course.


The display cases containing table silver, of which there are still many specimens in the old country of Liege, were a pretty sight; the noble and patrician families make a point of not alienating them, as one often sees on them the coats of arms of ancestors who once occupied high positions in the ecclesiastical Principality. Although the presence of the princes of the House of Bavaria brought a certain number of works of German origin to the country of Liege, the local silversmiths took their inspiration from their French colleagues.

Was it not in Paris that the Varins, the Demarteaus, the Coclers and even the Defrance went to be trained? It must have been the same for the silversmiths, and Liège silverware is all the more valuable because the silver from which it was inspired is hardly known except through old engraved collections. In the Liège pieces, the general line is pretty and elegant; moreover, the details of the chasing and engraving reveal expert hands in the handling of the chisel and the burin. Less homogeneous than the French productions, the works from Liège prevail over the objects made in Augsburg; they are superior to them in any case, by the purity of the profiles, the elegance and simplicity of the forms. In the first period, which corresponds to the reign of Prince Bishop Jean-Louis d'Elderen, we see the dominance of foliage and flower motifs in the decoration, traces of which can also be found in wood sculpture and even in the brassware of the Liege region. This is, in our opinion, the most original genre, because, although it dates from the time of Louis XIV, it has nothing in common with the French creations of this prince's reign. Let us quote the toilet mirrors of M. le baron de Sélys-Longchamps, of Mme Edm. de Sauvage-Vercour, of M. le comte d'Aspremont-Lynden and the boxes of M. de Clercx de Waroux and of M. le baron de Favereau de Jenneret.

From the reign of Joseph-Clement of Bavaria, one noticed torches belonging to the count Charles de Borchgrave and the baron de Favereau; they are of a beautiful and robust
execution. The specimens of silverware from the Louis XIV period are all the more appreciated by amateurs as they are rarer. In the coffee pot of Baron de Selys Fanson, the elegance of the form and the extreme simplicity of the decoration consisting of a mascaron which shelters under the spout of the object were remarkable. In contrast, the mustard and pepper pots of Gustave van Zuylen are distinguished by medallions and very delicate details. The sauceboat of Mr. G. Grégoire and the teapots of Mr. Charles Wilmart should be remembered. In the samovar of Mr. Richard Lamarche, one noticed, in the upper part of the handles, heads of women which seemed borrowed from some French object. The motif was probably not appreciated by the goldsmiths of Liège, for it is not seen again in the other kettles; these are remarkable for their attractive appearance and their fine engravings. The specimen exhibited by Mme de Lhonneux is perhaps the best designed and purest in terms of the choice of details, whereas eclecticism seems to have been the rule for the other pieces. The kettle of M. de Gollombs does not have the outward appearance of the Liège specimens; it is narrower, more slender, and where the burin of the Liège artists obtained most of the effects, the author, a silversmith of Namur, employed the chisel with great taste and talent.

Special mention is due to an interesting tableware belonging to M. Orban-Viot, which was once given to a burgomaster of Liège; to the tray and ewer of Mme la baronne de Crassier; to the baron van Eyll's beard dish. Sometimes they were content with a simple drawing on a matt or even stippled background; one would think that chasing itself had fallen into disuse. At the time of Louis XV, silverware took on a decorative aspect, thanks to the twisted fillets which Liege silversmiths liked to use, to the point of excluding any other ornamentation in certain cases. We prefer to see these flutes mixed with motifs borrowed from flora, as in the soup tureen and coffee pot of Count Arthur d'Ansembourg; the double-light torches of Gustave van Zuylen are well understood specimens. There is no transition to the objects of the Louis XVI period: this style, which is derived from the antique, is in a way a reaction against the capricious forms of the previous reigns. In spite of the sober appearance of the Louis XVI style, skilful silversmiths were able to give a very rich appearance to their work; such are the coffee pot and the milk jug belonging to the Count of Gelôes, which are distinguished by their opulent chiselling. The torches of Mr. H. de Watremont are also beautiful, thanks to the medallions and the heads of rams which decorate their silhouette.


The brassware industry developed very strongly in the former Principality of Liege from the 12th century until the end of the 18th century. The coppersmiths spread not only in our ancient lands, but also abroad. There could be no question of repeating in the Palais de l'Art Ancien the demonstration we had recently seen in the old regency of Dinant, where, alongside originals of incalculable value, facsimiles of important monuments were displayed. Besides the lack of space, it would not have been possible to repeat the theme that had been so brilliantly developed two years earlier, on pain of falling into repetition. In Liège, on the other hand, visitors had a magnificent compensation, thanks to the presence of the famous font of Saint Bartholomew.

For many generations, this font was located in the church of Notre-Dameaux-Fonts, adjacent to the cathedral of Saint-Lambert. It was hidden during the Revolution and then transferred to the church of Saint-Barthélémy. For many years it was believed, on the strength of Jean d'Outre-Meuse, a chronicler in a whimsical mood, that Lambert Patras was its creator. Today, the honour of having created this monument is rightly attributed to Régnier de Huy, who founded it at the beginning of the 12th century. Few works of medieval art have been more admired and praised than this baptismal font, whose bas-reliefs, with their beautiful and clear layout, are marked with the seal of the most sincere observation. They are also by Régnier, these oxen which, while carrying the bronze sea, shake, raise and turn their heads in such a picturesque way.

Although the work undoubtedly comes from a Mosan artist, the monument remains isolated and it would be impossible, for the moment, to say who its author is.

Analysis reveals reminiscences of Byzantine art and certain analogies with productions from the Meuse, but it would never have been the object of universal admiration if the author had not been fortunate enough to merge the traditions of his predecessors with his personal impressions into a harmonious unity. The thirteenth and fourteenth centuries were not represented; neither the superb lectern nor the Easter candlestick of the church of Notre-Dame in Tongeren, both executed by Jehan Josès of Dinant and so much admired in their place of origin, were shown. On the other hand, the fifteenth-century eagle-lutrin of Freeren and Venray, very similar, if not identical, figured prominently; however, they gave way in character to the famous griffin of Andenne, whose liardie and threatening silliouette has become popular. The pelican lectern of Visé, although dating from 1591, is still in good traditional condition; that of Bouvignes, which must be only a few years later, is distinguished by a very refined execution. The lectern in Dinant is more of a document than a model; an unfortunate cherub perched on a sort of Louis XIV period gauntlet supports an ogival lectern of the best style which, in this case, could not be anything other than a replacement piece. The Bocholt tabernacle is certainly more imposing in terms of its size; this monument, made entirely of cast and chiselled brass from the second half of the 15th century, seems to be linked by its plasticity and its architectural profiles to productions from the Maastricht region. It should be remembered that this town had a famous founder at that time, Aert van Tricht, to whom we owe the fountains of Bois-le-Duc, designed by Allart du Hamel, the famous architect.

As far as lighting is concerned, we should not forget to mention the excellent branches of light belonging to the Church of Our Lady in Tongeren, from the end of the 15th century. If we do not dare to affirm that the chandeliers on loan from the Cathedral of the Holy Saviour in Bruges came from a Walloon workshop, there can be no doubt about those in the church of Saint-Lambert in Bouvignes; one is surmounted by a Virgin, the other by a double eagle. It will not be out of place to recall that this last type is common not only to Belgian workshops, but even to various workshops in Germanic countries. Near the chapel, there were two brass columns with lecterns, the significance of which must have escaped many visitors; these two pieces, which are on loan from the beguinage of Mont-Saint-Amand and which date back to the beginning of the 16th century, belonged to a tref or light fixture, such as was seen at the same time in the abbey church at Oembloux.

Among the cast iron productions, one must recall the memory of this magnificent enclosure coming from the choir of the church of Saint-Paul, in Liège; the whole decoration consists of stylised foliage such as one finds in the productions of the Delcourt school.

It is the most imposing of its kind in Belgium. However, it could be compared to the now abandoned fence of the church of Notre-Dame in Tongeren. The Palais de l'Art Ancien also displayed some wells and curious aquamaniles; but for this last type of object, it was the contingent of facsimiles made after originals in the Copenhagen Museum that was to be asked for the intuition of these utensils whose assimilative temperament of our ancestors must have taken the idea from the East. Of course, not all the specimens can be considered as objects of Belgian origin, but there were several from Mosan centres; this seems to result clearly not only from the appearance of the pieces, but also from the fact that the Dinanters, as skilful traders, brought their products into various countries of Europe and in particular into the northern regions.

It would be inexcusable to pass without saying a word about this industry of embossed brass, from which the Dinantese have taken such ingenious advantage in the manufacture of household utensils such as basins, lamps, reflectors, fire covers, coolers, decorative dishes, etc. These objects are rarely signed, except by the Dussarts, who left specimens of refined workmanship. We will mention, among others, the copper cooler and the large brass dish with the Coronation of the Virgin which were exhibited by the Royal Museums of the Cinquantenaire in Brussels. Sometimes these works of brassware and goldsmithing go hand in hand, and the best proof of this is found in this magnificent fence in embossed brass, lent by the church of Fosses, and executed, as an inscription indicates, in 1756, by the Nalines, goldsmiths in Dinant. It was also one of them who delivered to the church of Bouvignes this brass sanctuary lamp made of embossed foliage of a very original execution.

It would have been surprising if the engravings on the brass slabs, this ornament of several churches in Bruges and other sanctuaries in Flanders and Northern Germany, had been unknown in the country of Liege, since they are still seen in the churches of the Flemish country. Indeed, there was a very large number of them in the old cathedral of Saint-Lambert, as P. Lohest has pointed out.

According to the old epitaphs, many churches in Liege had brass slabs. Unfortunately, only a painful memory remains of this magnificent ensemble. However, the only engraved metal slab still in existence in a Mosan church was on display at the Exhibition; it was loaned by the church of Bouvignes; although it dates from the first third of the 17th century, this work still bears witness to good and sound traditions.

We regretfully leave the metal works to mention some sculptures. The first mention will be for the Virgin of Dom Rupert; this wreck of the Saint-Laurent abbey, in Liege, preserved in the Museum of the Archaeological Institute, belongs to the first half of the XII^ century. It is not only famous for the pious legend that relates to it, but it rightly passes as a work of great interest. Considering the tenderness of the mother leaning towards her son and the natural attitude of the latter, this bas-relief should not be classified in the category of works of conventional style: at the same time the artist gives a pious image in a subject of a very intimate kind. The Virgin of the church of St John, which dates from the first half of the 13th century, does not reveal the same preoccupations; and the figure,
of a more distinguished appearance, does not arouse the slightest emotion. The statue of the Virgin exhibited by the Diocesan Museum of Liège belongs to this same trend of art, and it is possible to recognise the French influence that will be felt so persistently in our country. It should be pointed out here that the tombstone painter Pépin de Huy left works in France which hardly deviate from the feeling of his adopted country; but his nephew, Hennequin de Liège, will be part of the core of artists from the North in Paris, such as André Beauneveu from Valenciennes, who had the merit of not allowing themselves to be absorbed by the influences of the Parisian milieu. The two Mosan personalities whose memory has just been evoked were not in fact remembered in Liege, either by a cast or even by photographs. On the other hand, the engraved funerary slab industry, whose products were appreciated in the Middle Ages, was represented in the Palais de l'Art ancien by tracings made by Mr. Paul Lohest, which will be discussed below. It should also be remembered that the black marble of Dinant was preferably chosen for sumptuous tombs, among others for the tombs of the Dukes of Burgundy, which can still be admired in Dijon. The destruction to which the towns of the Meuse were subjected in the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th centuries has made the task of art historians particularly thankless. And to mention just one fact, the stupid and criminal destruction of Saint-Lambert will always remain an irreparable disaster for the various branches of art.

Let us turn to wood sculpture by mentioning the Virgin from a Coronation. This wood, of a delicious execution, belonging to Mr. G. Francotte, is, even if it comes from somewhere in the Principality, of a very French sentiment; also very interesting, although of an impersonal character, are these two wooden statues of the 14th century, one of which represents Saint John the Baptist, which Abbot Scheen, the parish priest of Wonck, had exhibited. Did Liege have woodcarving workshops like Brussels and Antwerp? I do not believe so; in any case, to my knowledge, the only Liège mark of the perron can only be found in the 14th century stalls of the church of Saint-Jacques in Liège. However, it is worth noting the existence of several altarpieces from the Renaissance period whose Walloon origin is undeniable. Several of them are preserved in the Archaeological Museum of Namur and the Royal Museums of Brussels. However, the Palais de l'Art Ancien had some works that particularly attracted attention. The Passion altarpiece, exhibited by M. Davignon, is by no means a transcendent work; it comes, as I have noted, from a seventeenth-century Brussels workshop, and bears the mark of the mallet in many places; it is also a Brabant altarpiece, from the sixteenth century, from the castle of Ponthoz, remarkable for its numerous groups and its painted panels. The life, the movement, the vigour, if not the violence of the attitudes, reveals, if not the mark, its Antwerp origin. This monument was in some ways overshadowed by the altarpiece of Saint-Denis, which was given pride of place in the chapel. This is the most important wooden sculpture left in Wallonia; it consists of two distinct parts, executed by two different hands: the altarpiece itself, dedicated to the drama of Golgotha, and the predella, which depicts the legend of Saint Denis. The story of this saintly figure is portrayed with incomparable skill; the attitudes are varied, full of observation and life; the draperies, although somewhat complex, show the various parts of the body very well. This predella, which dates from the beginning of the sixteenth century, already shows us a strong Renaissance influence, and we do not believe it to be foreign to the centre from which the Passion scenes come. And if I may be permitted to clarify my thoughts on the altarpiece itself, I would say that it was created in a workshop close to, to say the least, that of Jean Borman and Pasquier, his son. In any case, it should be compared with those of Gustrow and various monuments preserved in Scandinavia. It is to be regretted," says Mr. J. Helbig, "that the research into the altarpiece has not yet led to the identification of the artist, or rather the artists, as the work of two different masters can be seen; however, we are justified in believing that they belonged to the Mosaic region, as the painting of the shutters, now dismembered and lost, which completed this masterpiece, was entrusted to Lambert Lombard, Erard de La Marck's painter. There is nothing to prevent the collaborators of the artist from Liège from being foreigners to this city. And if it were ever proven that they were his compatriots, it would still be true that their works linked them very directly to the Brabant school.

In a less important order of things, it is appropriate to mention a contemporary monument, namely the fireplace of the Institute, where we see the arms of the Empire, those of Erard de La Marck and those of Liège. It is still in the Gothic style and the polychromy, although refreshed, still gives it a very picturesque appearance; an important fact to note is that this specimen belongs to a very regional industry, of which many specimens are known from the 17th century onwards. These productions, always in harmony with the taste of the time, only disappeared with the advent of the marble fireplace. In the same room, there was still a fragment of a column in black Theux marble, decorated with a scene from the Passion; this fragment was part of a monument in the cathedral of Saint-Lambert. At the same time, Mr. Ch.-L. Cardon exhibited at the Cercle Artistique, in Brussels, an almost complete pillar of this work, whose bas-reliefs are distinguished by a rare skill and a very delicate decorative sense. The unknown author, who we believe to be a Mosan, was gifted with a balanced and discreet taste, which one likes to find in a medallist. When we see these bas-reliefs, we even think of the work of the French artists to whom we owe these beautiful ebony furniture pieces with bas-reliefs of such a fine workmanship. The rood screen of Moha, with its beautiful architectural layout, belongs to the sculpture of the Renaissance.

We arrive without transition at the productions of the modern period. The master who dominates is Jean Delcourt, the pupil of the knight Bernini; there are many works due to his skilful chisel; they have life and movement, but they are marked by a declamatory accent like the productions hatched under the influence of the famous Italian artist. At the Exhibition, on one of the staircase landings in the gallery, there was a large wooden Madonna painted white to imitate marble, from the collegiate church of Huy; the wind stirs the draperies according to the recipe that the Liège artist had received from his Italian teacher; it is the same type, but increased in proportions and less graceful in feeling, than the Madonna of the Fountain of Vinâve d'Ile.

Delcourt was a man of resources, and in this respect we must remember the superb eagle in the church of Saint-Denis which seemed, from the top of the gallery, to want to swoop down on the visitors in the great hall. The archangel St. Michael, placed in the same gallery, undoubtedly belonged to his school.

Delcourt's influence was felt in various fields, as I have noted in connection with the metal arts.


Visitors in a hurry, or too eager for the strong impressions which are to be found in great numbers at an Exhibition, often do not bother to stop in front of modest display cases devoted to seals or coins. Usually they go straight to the monuments that strike their attention by their size and sumptuousness.

But, if they do not impose themselves by their volume or their brilliance, these tiny objects have, on the other hand, for the scholar, a very particular charm; because they are linked in an intimate and precise way to the history of the past. This is what the authoritative pen of Baron J. de Chestret de Haneffe has made clear in pages full of insights. A selection of coins, catalogued by Mr. Naveau, reminded us of the existence of the monetary workshops of the ancient Principality of Liege, Huy, Dinant, Thuin, Tongeren, Maestricht, Hasselt, Curange, Fosses, Bouillon, etc. It presented us with the various coins minted under the prince-bishops and the tokens of the Liège families and most of the seigneuries. The tokens relate either to historical events that took place in Liège, Maestricht or other places, or to institutions, or to certain characters. As for the taste for medals, it does not seem to me to have arisen early in Liège, whereas it was already widespread in Europe at the time of the Renaissance. We know of no Liege artist," says M. de Chestret, "who devoted his burin to them before the 17th century.

Jean Varin was at the forefront of this period, but he put his talent at the service of France and it was not until Henri Flémalle that a medallist worthy of the name was found in Liege.

Gérard Léonard Hérard, who worked under Varin's orders, made a beautiful medal for the chancellor of Liverloo, which was shown at the Exhibition; another Liège native, Jean Duvivier, after a brilliant start in his homeland, became the appointed engraver of Louis XV.

Thus, all our masters of art went to seek their fortune in Paris; only Jacoby, whose large chiselled medallion representing John Theodore of Bavaria was admired, is faithful to his native country, where he died in 1794.


Sphragistics, which interests many scholars and artists, was represented by documents of great interest. The seal of Notger (bishop 971-1008), affixed to a letter of the year 980, is the oldest known seal of Liège. Also noteworthy are a series of charters sealed by the bishops of Liege, from the 11th century onwards, by the chapter of Saint-Lambert, by the good towns of the Principality, by the Hesbion knights and by the guilds of the trades; finally, the magnificent gold bulls affixed to imperial diplomas from the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries. There are countless seals attached to old charters.

The showcases contained a collection of matrix seals, which are all the more interesting in that authentic ones are rare; let us mention the 10th century ivory seal of the chapter of Saint-Servais in Maestricht; the silver seals of the chapter of Saint-Jean in Liège and of the town of Visé. Among the copper seals, the 13th-century seal of Emperor Henry V and that of the city of Aachen stood out. There was also the seal of the chapter of Munsterbilsen and that of the chapter of Saint-Servais in Maestricht.

Mr. E. Poncelet, whom we are following here, still points out the types full of delicacy of the seals of the convent of the Crusaders of Ruremonde, of the monastery of Saint-Agnès; in Maeseyck, of the chapter of Notre-Dame in Huy, of the abbey of Solières and of the trade, of the merciers in Liege. It can be seen from the seals of the trades of Liege, which Mr. E. Poncelet himself made known in a study published in the Bulletin de l'Institut archéologique, that the engravers of this town did not give up anything to their Flemish or Brabant emulators.


From charters to manuscripts, the transition seems appropriate, and the manuscripts themselves can, at least for the most distant periods, serve as an introduction to the history of painting. The art of illumination was practised from an early date in the Mosan region. The church in Maeseyck preserves a manuscript illuminated by the sisters Harlinde and Relinde, abbesses of Aldeneyck (8th century), which we would have been delighted to see exhibited in the Palace of Ancient Art. The figures reveal influences from Latin or even Byzantine decadence; but the border ornaments clearly relate to the Anglo-Saxon school. The chronicle of Saint-Hubert tells us that Foulques, living in the second half of the 11th century, excelled in illuminating capital letters; that the brothers Goderan and Ernest, in 1097, after four years of uninterrupted labour, completed, at Stavelot, the two volumes of a Bible: calligraphy, illumination and binding were their collective work. This precious work entered the collections of the British Museum, while another Stavelot manuscript containing the Jewish antiquities of Josephus by the same Goderan became the property of the Royal Library of Belgium. The Biblia sacra, which came from Lobbes and now belongs to the seminary of Tournai, was completed in 1084 by this famous manuscriber and could be admired at the Palais de l'Art Ancien. The talent of the illuminators could also be appreciated by examining the Stavelot gospels, exhibited by the University of Liège. Among the miniaturists and calligraphers of the period, Nicolas de Diest, Gilbert of the Abbey of Saint-Hubert and Wazelin, abbot of Saint-Laurent in Liège, are mentioned; but no work has been returned to them. For their part, the canons of Saint-Lambert had built up a rich collection of manuscripts which was destroyed in a fire. The manuscript section had a gap resulting from the abstention of the Royal Library; without this unfortunate circumstance, many of the Stavelot codices would have been of great benefit to ancient art.

If no artist's name stands out for the 13th century, Walloon art can claim the names of Paul, Herman, and Jeannequin Manuel of Limbourg, who worked for the French royal family and especially for the most sumptuous patron of the time, Duke Jean de Berry. Although they belonged to a certain extent to the Parisian school, it is interesting to note that they came from the country where the Van Eyck brothers were born, but they were influenced by the Italian and French masters.

The art of illumination never surpassed the ingenuity, elegance, high distinction and delicacy that made the belles heures de Chantilly the most perfect work of illumination at that time.


In speaking above of the Pépin de Huy and the Hennequin de Liège, who had left their country to go to Paris, I could have added that a similar phenomenon occurred among painters. It will suffice, as JVl. J. Helbig, "to mention the Van Eyck brothers and the Limbourg brothers; and, until the end of the 15th century, painters such as Joachim Patenier, born in Dînant, and Henri Blés, originally from Bouvignes, who pursued a long and arduous career, without it being possible to report their presence in any of the Mosan cities, nor to note the existence of a single painting commissioned from them in their country of origin. This is a curious observation that deserves to be noted. Although these two artists did not, or hardly ever, receive commissions, they did love the region in which they were born; their paintings, those of Patenier in particular, reflect in a surprising way the careful and meticulous study of the Mosan sites. But let us turn to Jean Van Eyck, who was in contact with the all-too-famous John of Bavaria; unfortunately, we have no data on the relationship between them. Was he a patron of the arts like Philip the Good, the sumptuous duke of Burgundy? There is no doubt that the artist's influence must have been felt by those who lived in the city of Liège, and in this respect, Would it be going too far to find reminiscences of this artist and his brother Hubert in the panel (1002) in the cathedral of Saint Paul in Liège, where we see the Virgin and the Child Jesus between the apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul, while the donor, Peter Vandermeulen, dean of Saint Paul's (+ 1449), is kneeling at their feet?

Patenier, of whom Albert Durer speaks with esteem and who, more importantly, has left us a portrait of the Walloon artist, was represented by interesting works; the most characteristic of his style is a Saint Gérôme in prayer, belonging to Mr J. Helbig. The Saint Roch of the Hospices civils de Liège and the Preaching of Saint John the Baptist, by the Abbé Scheen, introduce us to his kind of landscape, the constituent elements of which, as has been said above, are borrowed from the Mosan region. The Vierge allaitant l'Enfant Jésus, in the Musée de la Ville de Liège, attracts the eye by the plastic or sculptural aspect of the figure and by the tone of the flesh, which has the appearance of blued ivory. The artist from Dinant does not usually bother to give such importance and relief to his figures; however, the two paintings of Saint Christopher, one of which is in the Prado Museum and the other in the Mayer Museum in Antwerp, belong to this order. Patenier's influence was considerable. In fact, he created a genre. He also had imitators; he also collaborated with Quentin Metzys and perhaps Gérard David. No less personal was Henri Blés de Bouvignes, and with him the observation of nature seems to merge with an exuberant fantasy. His brushwork is of great delicacy and lightness.

In the Baptism of Christ exhibited by M. l'abbé Scheen, the scene takes place not on the banks of the Jordan, but in a port; in the background, we see wooded hills and a church; in the background, fantastic rocks and finally the open sea; in the foreground, the famous owl. The same signature can also be found in the disciples of Emmaus in the collection of Mr. J. Helbig. Only the landscape is treated according to more real data. The castle which forms the main subject is built with such verisimilitude that one is naturally led to consider it as a reproduction of a monument which existed. Helbig points out that the group of the Saviour and his Disciples is also to be found in the Imperial Gallery in Vienna, and may be added to in a charming picture in the Mayer Museum in Antwerp.

With Lambert Lombard, a new era seems to have opened up for the Liège school, which had in this artist an initiator of Renaissance art: a writer, architect, painter, curious about antiquity, he found, in the person of Erard de La Marck, a powerful and very wise patron. Many were his admirers and among his disciples were Franz Floris, Hubert Goltzius, Suavius, Jean Ramey, Pierre Dufour dit Jilhea, Dominique Lampson, N. Pesser, Pierre Baelen and others. The Marquise de Peralta exhibited the beautiful portrait of the artist painted by himself. This image is very much alive and, as Mr. J. Helbig rightly remarked, it makes her physiognomy "a type of the Walloon race at its best. Energy, intelligence and loyalty can be read on his features. Let us mention the head of a flageolet player who, according to tradition, is the portrait of a madman named Philoguet, who was very popular in Liège: it is a specimen of ugliness, to be sure, but interesting for a painter, and Lambert Lombard would have been tempted by the picturesque side of this grimacing face. The two panels in question date from the maturity of his talent, while the Last Supper, in the Liège City Museum, is thought to be a work of his youth; there are several replicas, notably in the Brussels Museum of Painting. The work has also been attributed, without convincing proof, to Pierre Goek of Aalst. In any case, there is some uncertainty; but for the drawing and the pronounced silhouettes of the figures, we would be inclined to recognise a kinship with productions of the Antwerp school. The abbot Scheen had lent a panel of limited dimensions, but containing a number of characters of a picturesque grouping, arranged in a very uneven landscape which would remind us of the productions of his Mosan predecessors, if constructions of antique style had not replaced the picturesque castles and the pretty masures dear to the Blés and the Pateniers.

Gérard Douffet (1594-1660), a pupil of the Brussels-born Jean Thauler, who had settled in Liège, was, like Lombard, a child of that city; he acquired a well-deserved name for his portraits.

In his history of painting, M. Helbig reproduces (pl. XXI and XXII) two of them preserved in the Munich Pinacotheque, which stand out for their qualities of understanding, style and studied workmanship. The same museum still has compositions by this master, such as the Invention of the Holy Cross. One senses that this artist lived in the Italian art trade of the decadence. And if his colour does not have the brilliance of the Flemish painters, Douffet redeems this inferiority with merits that one would be ill-tempered to ignore. At the Exhibition, we found a decorative panel representing the Forge of Vulcan, belonging to the Museum of the City of Liège, and the portrait lent by Baron Gh. de Potesta, representing Baron Guillaume de Moreau, knight of the Holy Roman Empire, adviser to the Chamber of Accounts of the prince-bishop.

Gérard collaborated with Bertholet and Qoswin on the painting that Mme Oscar de Soer had lent to L'Art ancien. It is the portrait of Douffet's Woman and that of the painter himself who offers his colleague Bertholet a small bronze statue. "According to the tradition reproduced by Villenfagne, says M. J. Helbig, the painting was made by the three painters with the intention of a friendly joust for which the small antique statue of Bacchus was to be the prize. The painting itself was the object of the competition. Douffet offered his former disciple the statuette as a prize for the art shown in the portraits of Douffet and his wife, and Bertholet, whose portrait was painted by Douffet, pointed to the flowers painted by Goswin as the only ones worthy of the prize.

An examination of the painting does not contradict tradition as to the share to be given to each painter. In one corner of the painting there is a rather complicated monogram. Bertholet Flémalle, a draughtsman with classical tendencies, sought balance in the order and harmony of colours. Like so many people from Liège, he made the trip to Italy, but his temperament brought him closer to the French school. Bertholet's Crucifixion, belonging to the cathedral of Saint-Paul in Liège, a sketch of a Saint Bruno at prayer, by Mrs. A. Jeanne, of very skilful workmanship, and the Châtiment d'Héliodore, in the Brussels Museum, were still on display. Jean-Guillaume Carlier (1638-1675); this artist from Liège had a temperament, as shown by the paintings exhibited in the Palais; he even had more originality than many of his fellow artists from Liège. He did not make the classical pilgrimage to Italy, but he would have accompanied Bertholet Flémalle to France; he had qualities of observation, modelling and colouring. The most personal work that reveals his realist tendencies is his Baptism of Christ, belonging to the cathedral church of St. Paul, and one may regret that his career was so brief. In this respect, Englebert Fisen, whose brush did not stop for 60 years, was more favoured than him. He thus gave numerous proofs of his ease and application at work. The painting of Notre-Dame des Douleurs belonging to Count Léon de Grünne, and that of the Descent from the Cross in the Hospices civils, showed his easy workmanship and his style dominated by the influence of the Italians of the decadence.

We now come to Gérard de Lairesse, born in Liège on 11 September 1640 and died in Amsterdam on 28 July 1711. A curious destiny for this Walloon artist! The son of a painter who enjoyed a certain renown, he showed extraordinary facility from his adolescence; educated, curious, a hard worker, but of very free morals, a nasty adventure from which he emerged wounded and discredited, brought him to Bois-le-Duc, then to Amsterdam. After a difficult start, he managed to build up a clientele not only in Holland but also abroad. His compositions show erudition, ingenuity, a supple and easy drawing, and a pleasant colouring. His art, which is easy to understand, was a huge success with his contemporaries. If modern critics have not ratified the over-enthusiastic judgement of the 17th century, one cannot deny the master remarkable skill and virtuosity. The Descent of Orpheus into the Underworld, the Court of Folly and the Vengeance of Appelle, in the Liège Museum, and the Death of Pyrrhus, in the Royal Museum of Painting in Brussels, give a sufficient idea of his style; but it is in Holland, where he spent so many years of his life, that he can be appreciated. Stricken by blindness, at about the age of 50, Gérard sought consolation in the music he had practised in his teens. He gave lectures on painting which, collected by his son, became part of the great book of painters. This This work, first published in Dutch, was later translated into French and German; it enjoyed great popularity when it appeared, but fell into disrepute with the ruin of the classical art that the artist from Liège had defended with such courage and conviction.

Walter Damery (1610-1672), who followed Peter of Cortona to Rome, just as Jean Delcourt had been attached to the knight Bernini, left works that are very Italian in sentiment and the inspiration betrays the trade of the masters of the decadence. He was successfully involved in decorative painting. At the Exhibition, we saw a portrait of a nun,' a Saint Charles Borromeo by Count C. van der Straeten Ponthoz, a Presentation in the Temple, from the church of Glain and an apparition of the Virgin to Saint Norbert. Very interesting and well known is the Silver Counter from the factory of the Royal Museum of Painting. It is apparently much more skilful and finely executed than the two buffoonish heads known as Matthi and Cacaye, belonging to Count V. van den Steen de Jehay. It should be added that the type of these figures can easily be found in the work of Jordaens.

Among the flower painters, J.-G. Coclers has succeeded in producing paintings that are not lacking in decorative charm. We shall mention two paintings of flowers belonging to the Marquise de Peralta, to Mrs de Grady de la Neuville and to Mr Houssard, as well as a coaster from the Palais de Justice in Liège comprising flowers and animals next to a fountain in a landscape background.

We should also mention the presence of landscapes by J.-B., de Namur, Lambert Dumoulin and Fassin, who was inspired mainly by Berchem. Among the artists of the 17th century, there are two who deserve special mention and who had diametrically opposed aspirations: Lion, born in Dinant on 7 May 1727 and who died in the same town on 11 September 1809, and Léonard de France, born in Liège six years later and who died in 1805. The former, a painter and pastelist, worked for Joseph II and Maria Theresa; he was much sought after and much appreciated by Viennese high society. He happily rendered the physiognomies of his models and, in this respect, the portrait exhibited by Mr. G. van Zuylen, of Jacques Heurquin, prior of the Croisiers, in Liège, gives an advantageous idea of his talent. One feels conquered by the sympathetic smile that illuminates the features of this character. The pastel belonging to M. l'abbé Pries and which represents, I believe, Prince Charles of Lorraine, is recommended by a very delicate workmanship. De France did not frequent the courts, he was not pampered like his colleague from Dinant by august personages; he does not paint the great ones in their homes; but he has the pretention of making us know the morals of his time and he plays a turbulent role in life. It is to this fiery demagogue that we owe the destruction of the Paladium of the Liège city of the cathedral of Saint Lambert; he visited Italy and lived in Paris. It was this last stay that determined the genre to which he devoted himself. He became a painter of manners, a Boily, but less delicate, less tight, less observant than his model. There is ease and clarity in the work of the Liège artist, enhanced by a fresh and joyful colouring. The interiors of factories and tobacco factories, the scenes of cabarets, etc., are lifted in a spiritual way. The Marital Explanation, on loan from the Marquise de Peralta, is perhaps the best understood and most experienced of the contingent... whether experienced or observed, this explanation is more vigorous in its turn than his other compositions.

A curious sketch for the history of the Principality by Joseph Dreppe is worth mentioning; it relates to the foundation, in 1779, of the Société d'Emulation. It shows the arts and letters paying homage to Prince Velbruck, seated on his throne: winged genii hovering in the upper part of the composition hold a banner on which we read the inscription: ARTES VIRTUTES EXTOLLIT FOVET, MUNIFICAT VELBRUCK. Our review ends by evoking the memory of Noël, born in Waulsort on 4 April 1789, and who died in Brussels on 27 November 1822. The Retour de l'Ivrogne, belonging to M. de Pitteurs de Budingen, shows us the Walloon artist, who died in the prime of life, in possession of a very firm drawing and a warm and robust colouring.


Apart from the gallery of which we have given a brief overview, there was another gallery of considerable historical interest. If critics and aesthetes did not find many choice pieces, on the other hand, the curious and the lovers of memories experienced the sweet emotions that things from a glorious past bring with them. And one would dare to bet that many visitors, according to their temperament and education, must have looked back on themselves when they thought of the regime that these princes and dignitaries of the old Liège homeland recalled. Here we follow the excellent guide, Baron de Crassier, who has managed to unearth many of these paintings and to classify them. Here is the complete series of prince-bishops, from Jean de Heinsberg, in 1419, to the prince of Méan, in 1794, i.e. nineteen princes in all. The portraits of the first four bishops who reigned in the 15th century offer no guarantee of authenticity, as they all have the costume of the early 16th century. Here is the cardinal portrait of Erard de La Marck, prince-bishop from 1505 to 1538. He is one of the most beautiful figures in the history of the Principality: bishop of Chartres in 1507, archbishop of Valence in 1520, cardinal in 1521, legate to Laterna in 1537, one year before his death. He rebuilt the castles of Huy, Dinant, Stockheim and Franchimont; he restored and extended those of Curange and Seraing. We also owe him the Palais de Liège, which is currently used as the Palais de Justice. He was a skilful politician, a courageous prelate and a magnificent patron. Here are the portraits of Corneille de Berghes, from 1538 to 1544; of Georges of Austria, from 1544 to 1557, the natural son of Maximilian, whose reign was relatively prosperous; of Robert de Berghes, from 1557 to 1564; of Gérard de Groesbeeck, from 1564 to 1580; and of Ernest de Bavière, from 1581 to 1612. Administrator of the bishoprics of Hildesheim and Freisingen, he became abbot of Stavelot, then archbishop-elector of Cologne in 1581, and postulate of Munster; he never received holy orders. Ferdinand of Bavaria, prince-bishop from 1612 to 1650, nephew and coadjutor of the previous bishop, succeeded him in his dignities. In 1618, he also became bishop of Paderborn
of Paderborn; he was never a priest and almost always lived in Bonn. His reign was a bad period for the country, which was bloodied by the struggles of the Chiroux and the Grignoux and the tragic death of the burgomaster Lamelle. Maximilian-Henri of Bavaria, nephew and coadjutor of the former, from 1650 to 1688, built a citadel which was demolished by the French twenty-five years later, in 1676. A revolution broke out in Liège in 1676, which was averted by the entry of German troops into the city and resulted in the publication of the 1686 regulation which removed the political powers of the trades.

These last three portraits and the one of Joseph-Clement of Bavaria, were lent by His Majesty the Emperor of Germany.

Jean-Louis d'Elderen, Prince-Bishop (1688-1694) was elected on 17 August 1688. He was part of the great alliance against Louis XIV. Liège, despite the fine defence of the city by General t'Serclaes-Tilly, was bombarded by the Marquis de Boufflers in 1691. His successor, Joseph-Clement of Bavaria (1694 to 1723), archbishop and elector of Cologne, to meet his predecessor, took sides with France in the war of the Spanish succession, which determined the entry of the allies and his departure for Germany. This is Prince Georges-Louis de Berghes, Prince-Bishop from 1724 to 1743. He died in Liège, instituting as his universal heirs "his dear brothers, the poor of the city of Liège". Jean-Théodore of Bavaria, from 1744 to 1763, defended the neutrality of the country violated by the famous Marshal of Saxony who defeated the allies at Rocour; the following year, the French were victorious at Laeffelt, and, in 1748, captured Maestricht. Charles d'Oultremont, prince-bishop of Liège, from 1764 to 1771. François-Charles de Velbruck, prince from 1772 to 1784, remained popular in Liège, thanks to the enlightened protection he gave to letters and the arts; we owe him the foundation of the Société d'Emulation. Prince de Méan de Beaurieux, the last prince-bishop, died in 1831, archbishop of Malines.


The room devoted to drawings and prints provided some very pleasant moments for lovers of Liege art. There were sketches and drawings by Lambert Lombard, engravings by Suavius and Debry, those masters who were so delicate and so much in demand; by Nicolas de Huy, Pierre Du Four, Hans Van Luyck or Jean de Liège, Richard Collin, and artists so well known, such as Natalis and the Valdors, who, in addition to portraits, also cultivated religious imagery; pencil and ink drawings by Gérard de Lairesse who, as mentioned above, was so popular in the Dutch Netherlands. There were also works by Varin, who is related to the famous conductor of the French king's mint. The work of Gildes de Marteau, the skilful inventor of pencil engraving who so successfully interpreted Boucher, Fragonard and Van Loo, was largely reconstructed. Alongside the testimonies of his remarkable talent, there were plates by his son Gilles Antoine, to whom the exhibitor, Mr. J. F. Demarteau, this passionate lover of prints from Liège, is related by blood ties. Let us also mention etchings by Coclers, so enamoured of French morals, prints by Pfeiffer, Dreppe, Guillaume Evrard, etc. The engravers of Liège lived a great deal abroad and we believe we are doing the right thing in reporting the lines of Mr. J. E. Demarteau on this phenomenon: "With regard to the death of Natalis, one cannot help feeling a certain sense of regret at seeing, one after the other, our artists expatriate. Was it as Abry says?
"While remembering the skilful people, he believes that in Liège they were not held in high regard. The cause of their emigration is to be sought further afield. The constant turmoil in the city of Liège left little room for sedentary luxury. The artistic journey par excellence, that of Rome, began by showing them the way abroad. On the other hand, our engravers went wherever the fashionable painters called them, whom they translated with the help of the point or the burin, and wherever the beautiful books to be illustrated were published, like the De Bry in Frankfurt. While the prince-bishops of the House of Bavaria abandoned their palace in Liège to fulfil their various duties in Germany, the luxury of the French court attracted our medalists and engravers to Paris from the 17th to the end of the 18th century. All of them nevertheless kept a vivid memory of their native soil and added a significant leodiensis to their signature. Liègeois," they say, to show their persistent patriotism despite voluntary exile.

The views of Liege drawn, engraved and painted were numerous. Mr. G. Ruhl, who was responsible for collecting them, had attached a relief plan of a district of old Liège. This is a very suggestive method that can never be encouraged enough, because these miniature reconstructions always speak to the eyes and the imagination.

In the same room were deposited the manuscripts and seals mentioned above and on the walls were attached reproductions of funerary slabs.

In the Middle Ages, and well into the modern era, there were several industrial centres in Belgium where funeral monuments were made.

The stone monuments came mainly from quarries in the Tournaisis region and on the banks of the Meuse. In the Palace of Ancient Art, it would not have been possible to display any such monuments. We were therefore very happy to be able to exhibit tracings made from original slabs, under the care and direction of Mr. Paul Lohest. His collection, which contains documents from the 12th to the end of the 16th century, has the rare merit of providing art and history with data that is all the more precious because an inconceivable spirit of vandalism is still striving to make these monuments disappear today.

The engraved brass slabs that still adorn the churches of Bruges were, as mentioned above, found in large numbers in the cathedral of St. Lambert and in the main churches of the city. The design has not been preserved and the metal has been delivered to the crucible. The series by M. Paul Lohest's series begins with some monuments of purely epigraphic interest: the stamps of Amabilis, in Saint-Servais, the stamp of the Merovingian inscription of Glons, the dedicatory inscription of Waha; that of the lead funerary cross which was in the tomb of Theodoin of Bavaria, prince-bishop of Liege (1048-1075), the stamp of the stones of Franchomme, of Hognoul (+ 1260); of Gérard de Villers-Letemple, who died in 1272; of Hombiers-Corbeau (+ 1298); of Jean Magnus (+ 1302); of Lambiers, sire d'Abbée {+ 1302) and his wife; of Rase Hollegnoule (+ 1457) and Agnès Butoir, his wife (+ 1438); of Molendrino, canon of Saint-Paul, in Liège (+ 1459).
In the 16th century, tombs in bas-relief appeared which, although they were more opulent, lacked the discreet charm of stone or engraved brass slabs.


The artists of the Liège region have distinguished themselves at all times by their aptitude for sculpture. From the Middle Ages, only a limited number of monuments have been preserved that bear witness to their skill. This shortage was caused by the unfortunate events of the 15th century. At the beginning of the 18th century, Liège had to suffer from a very disastrous bombardment, led by Marshal de Boufflers.

The Hôtel-de-Ville and many houses had to be rebuilt; the reconstructions necessarily required new furniture. Architects, sculptors and cabinetmakers thus found the opportunity to demonstrate their know-how and talent.

Liège artists and craftsmen are masters of their tools and it is wonderful to see the virtuosity with which they manage to overcome all obstacles. They do not find new formulas, and one would be rather embarrassed if one were required to designate a creator in the true sense of the word. This disposition seems to us to be explained by certain political and moral circumstances. By its geographical situation, the country of Liège bordered on Germany, and on the other on France; but its sympathies are so much with its southern neighbours that the successive and prolonged presence of several bishops of the house of Bavaria, originating from a country of artistic culture, had no repercussion on the development of its artists and craftsmen. The painters took their inspiration and models from the Italians of the decadence, and sometimes from the French; the sculptors rather asked the Italians for their models, and the knight Bernini reigned for a long time on the banks of the Meuse in the person of his pupil Delcourt and the latter's successors. For the furniture, the craftsmen, who were better advised, tried to assimilate the French formulas and, my goodness, they made good use of their adaptations. They could do so all the better because they possessed, in addition to professional know-how, a sense of plasticity, just as their Flemish colleagues in another field revealed themselves through their sense of colour. If they did not think of asking anything of the Germans, they rarely succeeded in imbuing their productions with the unity of form that characterises the French furniture from which they drew inspiration.

The phenomenon can be explained by the fact that in France the sculptors and cabinet-makers, recruited by architects and designers, accepted a very strict discipline, striving to render the master's idea to the point of stripping themselves of their own temperament. This result is all the more remarkable as foreign workers, including Germans and Flemings, were flocking to Paris. Germans and Flemings, who, left to their own devices, would not have acquired the renown that is now attached to their works. In Liège, there was a lack of inspirational genius and the Belgian and Liège craftsmen in particular did not have the admirable leadership to which French art of the 17th and 18th centuries is indebted for so many masterpieces.

Is it surprising, then, that we often find trends and traces of eclecticism? However, a sense of moderation and taste, that refined form of common sense, preserved the artists of Liège from the excesses and exaggerations that were to be found in German productions. Now, it will not be without interest to point out a few numbers of this important collection of furniture which constituted one of the main attractions of the Palais de l'Art ancien. Let us begin, if the reader agrees, with the chests.

The 14th century casket (5015) belonging to Mrs. Jules Frésart is very curious. On its outer walls we read the mottos: Gardes me bien, Vient de boin lieu, and the word Amours, placed near the hasp lock, which perhaps evoked so many hopes and illusions. Also worth mentioning is the 15th century wooden box (5011) covered with chased leather, belonging to Baron Ernest de Favereau. If it is not always If it is not always easy to determine the place of origin of a chest, one does not experience the same perplexity with regard to the furniture itself, whose layout and decoration are more directly related to the architecture and sculpture of our regions. The two leaves of a cupboard in the sacristy of the Saint-Jacques church in Liège are of excellent workmanship; they are made of oak wood with two leaves, decorated with wrought iron scrolls ending in maple leaves, fleurons and ranunculus.

The most typical piece of furniture in the homes of our ancestors was, from the 15th century onwards, the dresser, sometimes improperly called a credenza. It was the piece of furniture of honour, on which were placed pious images, often expensive triptychs, flowers and precious metal vases. In this respect, the 15th century specimen (5023) in the collection of Mr Paul van Zuylen is typical. It is arranged on a pentagonal plan and the decoration is borrowed from flamboyant architecture; the dresser (5056) of Mr. Brahy-Prost is distinguished by Renaissance openwork ornaments and parchment panels. The tradition of the dresser in combination with the cupboard is again found in the large piece of furniture (5057) by Paul van Zuylen. The inner leaves are decorated with lion's heads surrounded by leather. The narrower, recessed upper body is supported by two sheathed caryatids; this piece of furniture, which is still entirely designed in the spirit of the Renaissance, is dated 1616. Mention should also be made of the large dresser (5058) of the Hospices civils de Liège, whose doors are distinguished by the inlay and busts of men and women supporting an overhanging cornice. This last element was very popular in various German-speaking Germanic countries and it is not surprising that it had a place in Liege because of its proximity to the Thiessian regions.

Among the cupboards, the one marked 5032, by Mr. Brahy-Prost, stood out. The upper part opens to two leaves on which are sculpted the Annunciation and evangelistic symbols; although it dates from the beginning of the 16th century, it is still designed in the Gothic style. The cupboard known as the Saint-Trond cupboard, on loan from the Liège Archaeological Institute, is decorated with two niches containing the images of the Virgin Mary and Saint John. Despite its date of 1550, it is still linked to the medieval tradition by its panels with parchment leaves. Of a picturesque aspect is the large cupboard (5064) of the Hospices civils de Liège, from the first third of the 16th century; the two leaves are decorated with heads of characters of both sexes, a naive carving and the coats of arms of the Empire, the city of Liège, Erard de La Marck and the owner, a Donceel. On the casement or mauclair, the image of the Virgin appears, surmounted by a preacher standing in a pulpit. In spite of the shape of the shields, the whole and most of the details are very Gothic. In the armoire (5061), by M. Brahy-Prost, the abandonment of traditional forms and the change are affirmed by numerous finely moulded panels, friezes of so-called grotesque ornaments, busts in relief and engraved hinges. The footstool (5084), a 'scabeau à mestre soûls le pié' in the style of Vredeman de Vries, should not be overlooked. If we exclude a few works, including the rood screen of Moha, transported to the Palais de l'Art ancien, remarkable for its statuettes of Jesus Christ and the Apostles sheltering under niches, Renaissance furniture proper is in short supply in the civil and religious buildings of the Liège region. This scarcity can only be explained by the somewhat universal renovation of furniture, which is due to political and economic causes, but above all to the whims of fashion.

It would have been surprising if Delcourt's influence had not been felt in this area. In this respect, the woodwork of Saint-André, in Liège, with its medallion in figures surmounted by a crown, flanked by rosettes, apparently recalls his plantural ornamentation. Today, we are far from sharing the enthusiasm of our ancestors; the preferences of the amateur go to what is known as Liège furniture.

The Liège artist did not invent new forms, but he did have his own way of interpreting the one that fashion brought him, and this way is so personal that the amateur, even a little initiated, hardly gets lost in the search for attribution.

From the beginning of the 18th century onwards, Liège's productions are mainly eclectic in the specimens made entirely of oak. What is less well known is the marquetry furniture that was very popular in the Principality during the 17th and 18th centuries. However, the marquetry is in no way reminiscent of the luxury refinements found in the masterpieces left by the Boules. It has neither the variety, nor the richness, nor the colour, which distinguish the French productions.

Nevertheless, it has had a success which is demonstrated by the numerous specimens for which it has been used; and this success can perhaps be explained by the taste so pronounced in the Liège craftsman for metal work.

The standing desk (5105), by Mr. Orban de Xivry, allowed us to appreciate this type of work, executed with great care, in a rather discreet tone. The opulent but somewhat heavy style of the Louis XIV period is marked by more imposing furniture and by console tables with marble shelves, represented by specimens 5110 and 5114, on loan from Mr. Pirotte de Resteau and Count van der Straeten-Ponthoz.
Straeten-Ponthoz. The armchair (5021) from 1707 decorated with embroidery on hunting subjects, from Mr. Baron de Sélys-Longchamps. The wardrobe of the Liège Archaeological Institute is noteworthy for its discreet ornamentation of flowering vases, birds and branches. The door of the Liège Archaeological Institute, with its two rows of panels, garlands of flowers and drapery mantling, belongs to the latter period. The top contains a painting representing Mars and Venus, by Henri Deprez (1720-1797).

Let us also mention the two-body sideboard (5146) by Chevalier Victor de Mélotte, including a clock whose movement, signed by Jean Charles de France, is linked to the display case by floral scrolls; the large carved oak frame (5157) decorated with palms, shells, rocaille and flowers by Baron Maurice de Sélys-Longchamps; two chairs (5172), by M. Houssard; a gilded screen (5175), by M. le comte d'Oultremont de Wégimont; a frame (5178), by Mme Trappmann, whose polychromy is inspired by Saxon porcelain. Of greater interest in certain respects are two girdle clocks: one exhibited under number 5179 by the Grand Séminaire de Liège, crowned with a sun and decorated with the attributes of music, baskets of flowers, interlacing, branches, etc. The other (5181), exhibited by the Grand Séminaire de Liège, is decorated with the attributes of music and the symbols of the world. The other (5181) belonging to Mr. G. van Zuylen,
deviates from the forms seen. Besides being smaller than usual, it rests on a term-like girdle and is thus reduced to a very elegant silhouette.

For the Louis XV period, we would point out the two-part sideboard (5185), by M. Pirotte de Resteau, with solid panels: one of the curved panels shows a heron under a baldachin; another piece of furniture (5186), also with two parts, by the Count of Brigode-Kemlandt; the solid panels are decorated with flowers, rocaille and shells.

With its dimensions of 3.27 x 3.27 metres, its five glass doors and the finesse of the carving, Mrs Nagels' piece of furniture attracted the attention of most visitors. The shell of the cushioning is enhanced by a coat of arms and the middle of the inner body is fitted out for a prie-Dieu. It was designed by Louis Lejeune: OPUS ELEVATUM LEJEUNE 1744. The same artist executed the clock with gaîne (5220), by M. R. Warocquié, crowned by a love holding the clepsydra and the faulx; the piece of furniture carries these words: HOC OPUS FECIT -LUDOVICUS LEJEUNE ANNO DOMINI 1743. Also noteworthy was the display cabinet (5191), by Mr. Paul van Zuylen, whose doors are decorated with trophies symbolising art and science; and the pretty sideboard (5192), by Mr. Gustave Francotte, which has a shell as its cushion.

The cupboard, which serves as a base, consists of two doors and two drawers and is decorated with rocaille and flowers. The windows of the shelf are covered with openwork ornaments.

Let us not forget the cupboard (5198), by M. G. Laloux, with solid panels, the middle part of which is arched and protruding; the wardrobe 5199 with two leaves decorated with rocaille and the two prie-Dieu (5212) from the church of Saint-Martin, in Liège.

One noticed the graceful mirror (5217) in a frame decorated with rocaille and busts of shepherds, which had been lent by Mr. Laphaye, as well as this cartel of a beautiful arrival decorated with Martin's varnish, heightened with ornaments in chiselled bronze, which belongs to Mr. Baron Ancion. The movement is signed: "Jacques, horloger du prince-évêque à Liège".

It seems that the Louis XVI style was less popular in Liège than the style to which its predecessor gave its name. Did its lines and the sobriety of its details appeal less to the temperament of Liege's artists than the grace and caprice of the rocaille style?

This is not unlikely. Whatever the case, there are some truly remarkable examples from the Louis XVI period. The large double door (5228) in the Musée d'Armes is an example. The attributes of music that decorate the panels are interpreted with a sense of observation and a real decorative sense. The delicacy of the work is matched only by the production of J. Herman, from Liège, of whom several works were on display at the Palais de l'Art ancien: a clock, a small console (5245), standing on three fluted legs, decorated on the belt with rosettes inscribed in bands. One also remembers the two-body sideboard belonging to Mr. Baar where oval medallions with foliage are supported by bows; the wardrobe (5240), belonging to Mrs. Sauveur, a piece of furniture interesting for its panels decorated with vases of flowers and attributes of hunting, and finally, the armchair (5249) in sculpted wood belonging to Mr. Jules Lamarche


At the Palais de l'Art Ancien, draperies played their true decorative role, at least in the salons. We shall first recall the memory of those belonging to the church of the Béguinage, in Saint-Trond; these two specimens from the beginning of the 16th century, undoubtedly emanate from a workshop in this town. They are not transcendent works, but they bear witness to excellent traditions; they each represent three figures of saints in fairly light tones on a damask background of blue on blue. They do not bear any marks, but the attribution to the Saint-Trond factory seems most likely. Some hangings were also made in Liège, but it would be very difficult to point out any piece of this origin.

Let us mention a few specimens that never fail to charm or intrigue the visitor, including Saint Vaast being attacked or visited by a bear; this 15th century piece, which belongs to M. Peltzer de Rossius, comes from a workshop in Arras or Tournai; but our preference is for the first of these two sources.

More interesting from the point of view of the history of the country of Liège is this magnificent 15th-16th century page that the Duke of Arenberg lent to the organisers of the Exhibition. It shows King Modus on the one hand, and Queen Racio on the other, issuing their opinions to the members of their Court: these two groups are separated by veneers, above which appear the quartered arms of Cleves and La Marck.

At the cornice of the two pavilions which house the august figures Modus and Racio, are diamond-shaped shields bearing parti de Clèves, parti Françoise de Luxembourg.

At the foot of each hole and next to the riders is the shield (added afterwards) of the seigneury of Enghien which was under the control of Philippe de Clèves. The tapestry by M. le comte F. de Renesse shows a prince on his throne attending a concert given to him by an elite society.

The Numa Pompilius suite, comprising seven tapestries lent by the Duke of Arenberg, necessarily consists of scenes conceived in the classical taste. One can discuss the merit of certain oppositions, the abuse of the red kermes; but one cannot ignore the skill displayed in the execution of the borders where flowers are mixed with war trophies. Should they be attributed to Brussels or to Audenaerde?
It is surprising that they bear no manufacturing marks, which is hardly ever the case in Brussels production in the 17th century, whereas there are a number of unmarked pieces that seem to come from Audenaerde. Moreover, the workers of this town were distinguished by their skill at that time, otherwise it would be inexplicable that Colbert had recruited craftsmen there for the Gobelins factory.

The city of Liège had exhibited a tapestry attributed to Urbain Leyniers, representing Diana resting from the fatigue of hunting. Also on display was a beautiful doorstop from the collections of the Duke of Arenberg, bearing the arms of a Caretto del Caretta, surmounting the subject: Time chained by VAmour. This tapestry bears the signature of an upholsterer V. D. Borght and David Teniers, son of the painter of the kermesses. The latter was not only a prolific artist, but also the creator of a genre. The suite belonging to M. de Clercx de Waroux, surrounded by original carved wooden frames and coming from the Château d'Aigremont, was executed in 1725 by Urbain Leyniers, according to the cartoons of a Van Orley who was obviously inspired by David Teniers. It is known that these tapestries were paid to the manufacturer at the rate of 19 Brabant guilders per square yard in Brussels, as shown by correspondence from the period preserved by the present owner. For his part, the Duke of Arenberg exhibited a series of five pieces from the Somzée collection: the Drinking Trough, the Fishing, the Harvest, the Forge and the Halt, inspired by the same master and possibly executed by a Leyniers.

The Count of Oultremont had lent three other Teniers: a skating scene, a kermesse and a harvest, which usually decorate the castle of Wégimont. More important in terms of size were the Teniers representing Fishing and Harvest belonging to the Duke of Arenberg. We will be forgiven for insisting on these hangings, which apparently have no direct link with Liège art, but it is important to note that they have often been associated with the furniture of the Principality's stately homes. A few years ago, a particularly typical example was the hotel built in the 17th century in Aachen for Jean Wespien,
The people of Liège were responsible for the sculpture and the ironwork, while the people of Brussels supplied the hangings.


More precious from a Mosaic point of view was the antepedium from the church of Saint-Martin in Liège, which is kept in the collections of the Royal Museums. Time has made it a composite work in which a careful analysis finds elements from the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. The oldest part reproduces the legend of Saint Martin, and in one scene the holy bishop, accompanied by Saint Brice, appears to Eracle, bishop of Liège, and predicts a speedy recovery.

In recognition of this, Eracle had a church built in Liège and dedicated it to Saint Martin. The work, of a charming naivety, a youthful grace, a delicate and precious execution, equals in perfection the finest miniatures of the time. The chasuble of David of Burgundy, bishop of Utrecht, who died in 1497, is certainly very beautiful.

This masterpiece, which belongs to the cathedral of Saint-Paul in Liège, has its counterpart in another in the Archiepiscopal Museum of Utrecht. The copes from Averbode Abbey, bearing the arms of Abbot Mathieu Svolders (1446-1565), were noted by connoisseurs for their exceptional style and workmanship. These jewels, which are perhaps related to Brabantine art, would have deserved better than the obscure corner assigned to them.

We will not speak further about the embroidery work, except to point out this excellent bedroom set, the decoration of which consisted of bunches of flowers set against a yellow background. Tapestry stitching was successfully practised in the Liège region, and some interesting specimens were on display.


They are certainly more attractive than these works of pure patience, the laces whose diversity was always very considerable. We did not see any lace from Liège; however, documents whose value cannot be questioned, indicate the existence in the city of a fairly large number of lace makers. There is no doubt that there are still old specimens; but, as there is uncertainty about the nature and character of these productions, connoisseurs have not managed to identify them. Fortunately, this is not the case for the graceful lace of Dinant, where the spindle is replaced by the needle. From a very delicate fabric, the skilful worker obtains ravishing effects by spreading the threads and bringing them together in such a way as to produce reliefs and highlights. This refined technique has been used in many places outside the Principality, but nowhere have the taste and patience of the worker achieved more beautiful triumphs than in Dinant. M^e Gustave de Mélotte, Mme Peltzer de Clermont and M. le baron de Sélys-Longchamps had lent selected specimens of this of this ingenious manufacture. The lace of Marche was particularly recalled by cups belonging to the church of this city.


From the 15th to the 18th century, Italian glassware was highly prized below the Alps.

Also, the gentlemen glassmakers from Venice, Murano, Altare and other cities were well received in many cities of France, Germany, England and the Netherlands. "Their request presented in 1613 for the creation of a glass factory "Venetian style" in Brussels, states that "all the Kings and Princesses desire and affect to have in their Royalty this science". In the 16th century, Italian emigrants worked in Brussels, Ghent, Namur and especially Antwerp. There had been a purely industrial glassworks in Liege before the arrival of these foreigners. In 1569, Nicolas Francisci created an establishment to make crystalline glass in Liège; but he had to undergo seizures, among other things due to the intervention of a Jacomo Pasquetti who claimed a privilege to manufacture glass in the Venetian style. This glassworks was successively taken over in the 17th century by the De Preitz Heine family, by Jean De Glen, and in 1683 by the brothers Menri and Léonard Bonhomme. It is from them that the glass industry in Liege flourished. They called on Italian, German and French workers. In 1650, the Barons of Bonhomme had brought together the workshops of Liège, Antwerp and Brussels; they also owned factories in Bois-le-Duc, Maestricht, Huy and Verdun. In 1710, Jacques Nizet set up a glass factory in Liege, assisted by Henri Audy, a worker who had been in the service of the Bonhomme family. Around 1740, Venetian-style glass was being dethroned by products from Bohemia and England and Nizet tried to meet the demands of fashion.

The initiators of the Liège industry were therefore Italian workers who, as nomads, were not immune to the influences with which they came into contact. According to the Abbé de Feller, in 1741, Nizet's glassworks was producing "beautiful glass works of great price" which he had "only seen there". In the Palace of Ancient Art, one could see grouped in a very ingenious way, numerous specimens of Liège industry, most of which belong to the 17th and 18th centuries. The forms are varied and ingenious; some of the oldest pieces recall beautiful traditions and we have no doubt that, thanks to the zeal of Mr. G. Rasquin, we will one day be able to solve many problems intimately linked to this manufacturing process, which is of such great interest for the history of industrial activity in the Liège region.

It should also be noted that the participants in the formation of this class are indeed local; it will suffice to mention the Liège Archaeological Institute, Mr. A. Baar, Mr. G. de Lhoneux, Mr. Brahy-Prost, Mr. Jean Lohest, the Baron de Chestret and Mr. Rasquin.

We know the enormous vogue that was attached to stoneware, erroneously called Flemish stoneware by some scholars who, misled by the presence of numerous inscriptions in Low German, had to face the facts. Although the popularity of these objects has waned in recent years, archaeologists still have a predilection for these picturesque objects, in which heraldic data of great interest can be found. This art industry first appeared towards the end of the 15th century, but it was in the course of the 16th century that it reached its full development.

Its main manufacturing centres on the Rhine were Frechen, Cologne, Siegburg, Hôhr and Grenshausen; in our region, the most important centre was Raeren, near Aachen, which was part of the ban of Walhorn, the former duchy of Limburg; as this locality was close to Liège, many of its old products bear the coats of arms of the families of that city.

Among the renowned potters are Jean Emens, Balden, Mennicken, Engel, Kran, Jean Allers and Everard Kalf. The Kran and Emens families from Raeren were the descendants.

It is apparently to them that the Emonce and Cramme of Bouffioulx are related.

The Kalf and Mennicken of the Westerwald, Hôhr and Grenzhausen would have a Raeren origin. These names alone show the importance of Raeren whose productions have always been much sought after by collectors. And thanks to Dr. von Winiwarter, one could admire in the Palace of Ancient Art, grouped and described with method, specimens lent by Mgr. the Duke of Arenberg, Messrs. Villeroy and Boch, Mr. J. W. Frohne, Mr. A. Kalf, the late Mr. J. Helbig, Mr. Baar, Mr. Paul van Zuylen and the Museum of Aachen. We saw again the subjects that the Raeren potters loved: the story of the chaste Susanna, the story of Judith, the works of Mercy, the triumph of Bacchus, the battle of the Lapiths and the Centaurs, the judgment of Paris, the lansquenets, the sciences and the vices. It goes without saying that these motifs were not designed by potters; their role was limited to making ingenious use of forms whose subjects were borrowed from master engravers, including H. Seb. Beham, G. Pencz, Vries, J. Liefrinck and Pieter America.


Ceramics flourished early on the banks of the Meuse.

As early as the 14th century, Andenne was an important centre for the exploitation of plastic clay.

And who does not know the hearth or fireplace bricks of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries decorated with various subjects or coats of arms of the Principality or of patrician or noble families.

As for the earthenware, for a long time, due to a lack of distinctive marks, it was not known and was attributed to foreign manufacturers, particularly those of Strasbourg whose polychrome bouquets were very popular in the 18th century.

We owe it to the discoveries made in the archives and to the tenacity of scholars to know the Liège origin of many pieces. The merit of M. Florent Pholien was to coordinate, in a special work, the interesting results to which he alludes above.

In 1740, a lawyer from Liège, de Borlez, tried to establish an earthenware and porcelain factory and brought in workers from abroad. Twelve years later, Baron de Bulow, Grand Chamberlain, obtained an exclusive grant to establish an earthenware and kiln factory, as well as a pottery factory. In 1767, Nicolas Gauron and François Lefebvre, two foreigners, were authorised to set up a factory of porcelain, earthenware and other works of this kind. In 1771, the management of the factory passed into the hands of Joseph Boussemart, the son of a great earthenware manufacturer from Lille. The company was incorporated and prospered. Among the fashionable types are the polychrome flower bouquet known as the tulip bouquet, Strasbourg style, and the pink cameo bouquet, Saxony or Marseille style. As for the polychrome "mandarin" type, it is said to be specific to Liege. One must also mention various fancy decorations in blue, with nets, checkerboard, or with birds, etc.

In the showcases, one could see a wide variety of objects such as dinner and coffee services, fountains, openwork baskets, bouquetieres, vases, and white statuette candlesticks without decoration, designed in the styles of the Louis XV, Louis XVI and Empire periods. The Coronmeuse factory exhibited on various occasions.

The Van Marcke workshop (1792-1830) was particularly distinguished in the practice of artistic decorations on porcelain.

Thanks to the zeal displayed by Messrs Pholien and Charlier, it was easy to form a very satisfactory idea of Liège's ceramic productions. Let us not forget to mention the participants of this interesting section: Messrs Jules Ancion-Magis, Alfred Baar, Jules Dallemagne, Evenepoel, Mr F. Huybrechts, Mrs G. de Lhoneux, Messrs Ed. Le Joly, Couclet, Mr Chevalier de Mélotte, Mr Jean Charlier, the Liège Archaeological Institute, etc.

Important among all was the centre of Andenne. The first earthenware factory was established in 1784 by Joseph Wauters, with the help of a few associates; the following year, it was transformed into a company and took the title of imperial and royal factory.

In 1794, Joseph Wauters broke away from the group and called in a skilled French sculptor, François-Jacques Richardot. New factories were founded from the debris of the two original companies. In this connection, it will suffice to recall the names of Van de Wardt, Lapierre, Bernard Lammens, Fourny, Becquevort, Winand, etc., whose products were in demand.

There are products with graceful shapes, varied decorations, in which saffron blue dominates and pieces with creamy white reliefs; plates decorated with views and landscapes in black, taken from the work of Remacle Leloup, which constitute the illustration of the famous work Les Délices du pays de Liège. From 1740 to 1831, Huy saw the establishment of factories to which the names of well-known industrialists such as Deliège, Rouchet, de Kessel, L. and E. Cher, Ledoux, Lhomme and Godet.

Let us not forget to mention Namur and Saint-Servais lez-Namur, from 1644 to 1792, from which excellent products were produced, as well as Luxembourg (1748), whose production survives in the Boch factory in La Louvière. It is also worth recalling the existence of other centres of lesser importance: Andenelle, Maestricht (1614), Dinant, Chimay (1762-1823), Brée (1763), Couvin (1767), Verviers (1658), Acosse (1787), Tinlot (1800), Ouffet (1820). This enumeration is sufficient to show the vitality of the ceramic industry in Wallonia.


To speak of the industries of the Liège region and forget the objects of Spa would be to commit an unforgivable omission. Let us first mention the important collection provided by Mr. Albin Body and the Museum of Spa. The origin of these fancy objects goes back to the beginning of the 17th century; it is therefore closely linked to the prosperity of the charming Ardennes town. The "bobelins" of yesteryear found on the spot sticks, canes, small utensils such as bellows, ash-sweeping buckets, brushes or buckets, stools, etc. This is the reign of Chinese ink painting.

Skilled artists such as the Daglys, the de Beaurieux, the Defaazes and the Franks are mentioned.

Of all these names, only one has crossed the border, that of Dagly, a chemist born in Spa towards the end of the 17th century. We owe him the varnish in use since 1713 in the Gobelins factory. This varnish, which is similar to that of China, has the precious characteristic of being waterproof and fireproof and of being able to be applied to flexible materials. As early as 1690, Chinese and Japanese lacquers, probably imported from Holland, were imitated.

In Aachen, the "pretties" of Spa were sold. The demands of luxury had to be met. Parisian models were therefore imitated by Spadian artists for the execution of furniture, pedestal tables, chiffoniers, toilets, etc. This industry reached its peak in the 19th century. This industry reached its peak in the last half of the 18th century.

For painting, they used wash and gouache. Mr Body recalls the names of these modest artists who, thanks to him, will escape oblivion: Xhouet, Tahon, Gernay, Lefin, Gérard Dagly. If their productions do not reveal a master's temperament, it is fair to acknowledge their real know-how. it is fair to acknowledge their real know-how. They were mainly inspired by the fashionable artists of Watteau and Boucher and, under the reign of Louis XVI, by the antique motifs that the exhumation of Pompeii had made fashionable. Without being brilliant, the old productions of the small school of Spado have a stamp of distinction that one would look for in vain in the more recent manufactures whose floral decorations are all the expense. And it is understandable that these bouquets of periwinkles, roses and violets on a grey background arouse little interest in people with a slightly refined taste.

The contingents were still mainly made up of items sent by Messrs. the Count of Oultremont de Wégimont, the Baron de Sélys, Mme Peltzer de Clermont, M. Braun and others. Brahy-Prost, M. Reigler, M. Dommartin and M. Jean Charlier, etc. Alongside these painted objects was a collection that was all the more curious in that, formed for the first time, it was a revelation for many amateurs. It consisted of utensils of Spadian manufacture, where the skilful use of ivory, silver, copper and pewter had decorated fire bellows, boxes, brushes, etc., lent by Messrs. the Baron de Sélys, de Potesta, and Messrs. Niffle.

In conclusion, we make a point of referring the reader to the Catalogue général de l'Art ancien au Pays de Liège, 1905, published in Liège by Aug. Bénard.

This is where we have drawn the data for the present study.

©Livre d'Or de l'Exposition Universelle de Liège 1905