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1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Khnopff, Fernand Edmond Jean Marie

< 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica

KHNOPFF, FERNAND EDMOND JEAN MARIE (1858–), Belgian painter and etcher, was born at the château de Grembergen (Termonde), on the 12th of September 1858, and studied under X. Mellery. He developed a very original talent, his work being characterized by great delicacy of colour, tone and harmony, as subtle in spiritual and intellectual as in its material qualities. “ A Crisis ” (1881) was followed by “Listening to Schumann, ” “ St Anthony ” and “ The Queen of Sheba ” (1883), and then came one of his best known works, “ The Small Sphinx ” (1884). His “ Memories ” (1889) and “ White, Black and Gold ” (1901) are in the Brussels Museum; “ Portrait of Mlle R.” (1889) in the Venice Museum; "A Stream at Fosset ” (1897) at Budapest Museum; “ The Empress ” (1899) in the collection of the emperor of Austria, and “ A Musician ” in that of the king of the Belgians. “ I lock my Door upon Myself ” (1891), which was exhibited at the New Gallery, London, in 1902 and there attracted much attention, was acquired by the Pinakothek at Munich. Other works are “ Silence ” (1890), “The Idea of Justice ” (1905) and “ Isolde ” (1906), together with a polychrome bust “ Sibyl ” (1894) and an ivory mask (1897). In quiet intensity of feeling Khnopff was influenced by Rossetti, and in simplicity of line by Burne-]ones, but the poetry and the delicately mystic and enigmatic note of his work are entirely individual. He did good work also as an etcher and drypointist. See L. Dumont-Wilden, Fernand Khnopff (Brussels, 1907).