Theodore Gerard lived a full and active life of painting, traveling, and exhibiting. He was born in Ghent in 1829 to a family network of decorative painters and studied in that city’s academy with Theodore Canneel and Vanderplaetsen. His first works were copies made for an antiquarian, Paul Flit, in Ghent, and then for Plaspera in Brussels where he settled in 1857.
Gerard painted and traveled in Switzerland, Austria-Hungary, and Germany. His paintings show a German influence, painted directly from nature in the style of the Dusseldorf artists Ludwig Knaus and Benjamin Vautier. He painted mostly genre scenes, with occasional portraits and architectural views. He was an extremely successful artist and was often exhibited in Brussels, Ghent, and Antwerp, and also in England, France, Austria, and even Australia. He won gold medals in exhibitions in London in 1871, in Vienna in 1873, in Brussels in 1875, and in Philadelphia in 1870. He was a Knight of the Order of Leopold and participated in the London Exposition of 1874, the Salon of Ghent in 1874, the Brussels Salon and the Exposition in Liege in 1875.
Theodore Gerard became a teacher at the Brussels Academy of Fine Arts and died in Belgium around the turn of the century. The Brussels Museum, the Ghent Museum, the Courtrai Museum and the Antwerp Museum all have his works.
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