Franz Joseph Adolph Maria Melchers, Franz M. Melchers, (Münster 1868--Antwerp 1944) is a Dutch painter, draftsman and engraver of German origin who made a career mainly in Belgium and the Netherlands.
Born in Münster in the province of Westphalia ( Kingdom of Prussia ), his family emigrated in the 1840s to Batavia (Dutch East Indies). According to art critic Cyriel Buysse, who calls him a "cosmopolitan artist," Franz Melchers leaves Prussia at the age of 15, lives in Veere , in Zeeland , for three years, then settles in Brussels. where he studied art, then went to The Hague to complete his training: his classmate and friend Jan Toorop .
In the Belgian capital, he entered, perhaps as early as 1889, in contact with Octave Maus, who presented his first works in the framework of the Salon des XX and, later, in the various events of La Libre Esthétique : Melchers is present on the flag of Belgium at the World Fair of 1889 (Paris). His work is marked by Japonism and the Dutch masters.
Melchers exhibits from November 15, 1895, at Le Barc de Boutteville : the catalog includes a preface by Maurice Maeterlinck 3 . The latter wrote in the wake of two complimentary articles on Melchers in Modern Art in March and April 1896, following an exhibition at the House of Art (Brussels) 4 . He is also exhibited at the Salon des Cent .
In 1897, he illustrated a series of poems by the Brussels lawyer Thomas Braun , sixteen lithographs constituting a calendar: the book entitled L'An is published by E. Lyon-Claesen in Brussels; the magazine L'Estampe moderne publishes in the form of lithography La Phalène des îles de la mer accompanied by a poem by Maeterlinck.
He then exhibited at the Salon of French Artists in 1898. In the international art magazine The Studio , in June 1899, the critic Pol de Mont boasts his genius. On December 2, the newspaper Justice , under the pen of the critic Gustave Geffroy , devotes an important article to him on the front page 5 .
At the end of 1908, he exhibited at the Artistic Circle of Brussels a series of paintings, showing Dutch interiors 6 .
In but 1937, Yvette Guilbert , visit his Brussels studio: the painter shows him a large canvas, a San Sebastian , and describes him as "stoned by a gang of brutes: (...), synthesis of our time. Everywhere the time is charcutière " 7 .
Melchers was close to Charles Doudelet , with whom he worked, before the First World War, on stained glass projects, among others.
He married Jane Domartus, with whom he had a child named Harold.
He died on March 18, 1944 in Antwerp , then occupied by the German army.
Franz Melchers (1868-1944) was a German-born artist who found most of his success in Belgium and the Netherlands. He settled in Brussels and studied art there. At the World's Fair of 1889, he is present on the flag of Belgium. He also exhibited in the Salon des Cent and the Salon of French artists in 1898. Much of his work is inspired by a combination of Dutch Old Master techniques and Japanese aesthetics.