Study for a Horseman of the Apocalypse
  • Alfred J. A. Cluysenaar
  • Brussels 1837 - 1902 St.Gilles/Brussels
  • Study for a Horseman of the Apocalypse, before 1866
  • Black and white chalk, partly fixed and squared for transfer, on blue paper
  • handwritten confirmation on the old mount by John Cluysenaar (1984)
  • 453 × 423 mm
Estate of the artist
Private collection, Belgium

After receiving training at the Art Academy in his hometown of Brussels, Alfred Cluysenaar studied with Léon Cogniet (1794-1880) in Paris. Later, he traveled for several years through Germany and Italy, where he finally settled in Rome with his own atelier. In 1866, he finally had an artistic breakthrough with the much-vaunted painting The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Fig. 1), which Cluysenaar also presented the following year in Paris. In Brussels, he soon rose to prominence as an in-demand portrait painter, and also received numerous prestigious commissions to decorate public buildings. He taught as a professor at the College of Arts in Antwerp, oversaw the drawing school in St. Gilles, near Brussels, and was honoured with membership into the Académie de Belgique as well as the Belgian Legion of Honour. Cluysenaar’s works were shown in all of the important salons in European metropolises during the late 19th century.