The multitalented Belgian artist Eugène Joseph Verboeckhoven was born in Warneton in June 1798. He became famous for his portrayals of farm animals and worked with a plethora of mediums like stone lithography, etching, engraving, painting, and even sculpting.
Verboeckhoven began his artistic studies with his father, Barthélemy, who was a sculptor. Around the age of 18, he moved to the capital of the East Flanders province, Ghent, where he continued in his path to becoming an esteemed artist.
During this period, to become recognized by the art community, it was essential to participate in the Salons. Verboeckhoven began exhibiting his art and took part in the Ghent Salon in the early 1820s. He also attended the Brussels Salon from the years 1827 to 1860. During this time, Verboeckhoven traveled extensively throughout Europe, including Italy, Germany, France, Ardennes, and Great Britain.
In 1830, during the Belgian Revolution, Verboeckhoven worked at the Brussels Museum of Fine Arts as General Director. By 1848, he was appointed by King Leopold I as a member of the Committee of the Royal Musem of Fine Arte, a position he filled for the rest of his life. Politically involved, Verboeckhoven filled the role of Deputy Mayor for about six years in 1861 for the Schaerbeek Council, also in Brussels.
Not only was Verboeckhoven a great artist, but he also was a member of many academies, including the Ghent Academy, as well as in Brussels, Antwerp, Amsterdam, and Saint Petersburg. He was able to pass down his knowledge of art to pupils like Charles-Philogene and Edmond Tschaggeny, both brothers, and Louis Pierre Verwee.
The Belgian artist was deeply influenced by Old Masters, and he studied their composition style. He was fascinated by the idealization of reality portrayed in art, by the observation of nature. Like many great artists who came before him, Verboeckhoven concluded many studies and sketches before finalizing an artwork, as he aimed for perfection. Before concluding his idea in a painting, the artist would often sketch out the subject multiple times, as well as experiment with engravings and lithographic prints.
Charles-Louis Verboeckhoven was his brother and also a painter but worked mostly with marinescapes. They both took part in the Freemasonry group in 1834, and Eugène began to add three points in his signatures, signifying his fidelity to the Masonic group.
Eugène Joseph Verboeckhoven passed away in January 1881 in Brussels.