Juliette Wytsman (1866 - 1925)


Juliette Wytsman was born as the daughter of Emanuel Trullemans and Julie Tetelain. Like many young girls, Juliette started painting poetic school flower arrangements. This also happened later in the reputed École professionelle Bischoffsheim in Brussels, where Henri Hendrickx was a drawing teacher and where girls who were not allowed to study at the Academy could go to the departments of applied arts where signs, embroidery, ceramics, batik and the like were taught. Ketty Hoppe, the later wife of Victor Gilsoul, was also one of his pupils. Juliette Trullemans also took private lessons with the Ghent painter, Jean Capeinick, who moved from Ghent to Brussels. It was Capeinick who lifted her art to the professional level. Her earlier work was completely in his style. She also did not hesitate to bring realistic flower arrangements: a dirty, unadorned, brown-red earthen flowerpot with a simple geranium plant, for example. As far as known, she debuted as an exhibitor in the Salon of 1883. It was in the workshop of Capeinick that Juliette Trullemans and Rodolphe Wytsman finally met each other for the first time. And soon in the summer painting mecca Knokke, they regularly saw each other again. On 16 February 1886 Rodolphe Wytsman married Juliette Trullemans. It became an intimate commitment: both painted enthusiastically sun-drenched landscapes and tableaux with plants and shrubs. In this way, two artists' careers merged into a whole. The proceeds of their art allowed them to live well and undertake numerous journeys. Their many European voyages, however, left relatively few traces of their oeuvre. At first the couple lived in the Prieelstraat in the Leopold district, but moved shortly after 1900 to the Keyenveldstraat, 39. They also had a country house in La Hulpe, south-east of Brussels, on the other side of the Sonian Forest. They had intense friendly contacts with, among others, the writer and art critic Camille Lemonnier, the sculptor Charles Van der Stappen and the painter Émile Claus. In 1892 they acquired an estate "Les Tournesols" in the Brussels peripheral town of Linkebeek. Around their house there was a large flowery garden in the middle of a still largely untouched landscape. The park and the environment both inspired lots of canvases. In 1911, a few female artists founded the "Galerie Lyceum" in Brussels. Juliette Wytsman-Trullemans was represented at the opening exhibition, including Alice Ronner and Emma Ronner, Anna Boch, Louise Danse, Marie Danse, Berthe Art and Ketty Gilsoul-Hoppe. When the First World War erupted in August 1914, a veritable exodus started in Belgium; towards France, England, the Netherlands, America, and - for a small minority - to Switzerland. The Wytsmans moved to Rotterdam. Other artists who had escaped to the Netherlands or stayed for other reasons included Gust De Smet, Fritz Van den Berghe, Rik Wouters, Isidore Opsomer, Walter Vaes, Jozef Cantré, William Degouve de Nunques, Frans Smeers, Jules Schmalzigaug, William Paerels , Georges Van Tongerloo, Edith Van Leckwijck. De Wytsmans set up an exhibition in the Rotterdam art circle for the benefit of Belgian artists. Discretely they supported needy colleagues, where we might count Rik Wouters. They painted landscapes in the vicinity of Overschie, Bergplaats, Oosterwijck, Plasmolen, Kralingen, Delfshaven and Mook. When Rik Wouters died in terrible conditions in Amsterdam in 1916 and was buried there, it was Rodolphe Wytsman who gave the eulogy there. In November 1916 the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam brought an exhibition of Belgian Art. Rodolphe Wytsman sat in the organizing committee together with Isidore Opsomer and Maurice Guilbert and the Amsterdam museum curator Baard. With the exception of Gust De Smet and Rik Wouters, the young - innovative - generation was completely ignored in this exhibition - which was not accepted by them. After the war, the Wytsmans returned to their beloved Linkebeek, but that last phase of their life went quietly, without any noteworthy extra-artistic events, somewhat on the edge of the innovative art trends that were gaining momentum, and as a result of which they were no longer open. stood up. In 1925 they jointly prepared a double-retrospective, their last important manifestation in a totally changed art world. Juliette Wytsman-Trullemans died at home in the Keyenveldstraat in Ixelles on 8 March 1925. Rodolphe survived her for more than two years.