Frans Charlet was a painter of landscapes, marines, genre and portraits in both oils and watercolour who was born in Brussels in 1862 and was the younger brother of the artist Émile Charlet He undertook his artistic training firstly at l’Académie de Bruxelles in the studio of Jean François Portaels and then at l’École des Beaux-Arts in Paris under the tutelage of Jean Léon Gérôme, Carolus Duran and Jules Lefebvre.
He travelled several times to Morocco, Algeria and Spain in the company of Theo van Rysselberghe, the Belgian painter and engraver, and also to Marken and Volendam in Northern Holland with James Whistler and these trips were to prove to be a significant inspiration to Charlet’s artistic development.
His initial style was clearly influenced by the French Impressionist movement and his palette was vibrant but his work evolved later towards luminism and he produced a large number of Paris scenes at this time which display a delicate and fragile nature in their portrayal. Another subject matter which intrigued him in his later career, was horse racing.
He exhibited his work in Brussels, Paris – at the Salon, and London at the Fine Art Society, the Goupil Gallery and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters. He was awarded an honourable mention at the Salon in 1884 and a third class medal at the same institution in 1885. He was elected a member of La Sociétaire de la Nationale in 1903 and with James Ensor and Theo van Rysselberg, was a co-founder of the artistic group Les XX in 1883. This group was the precursor of La Libre Esthétique. In 1906, he founded La Société Internationale de la Peinture à l’eau with Fernand Khnopff, Henri Cassiers and Henri Stacquet.
His legacy is that he has come to be regarded as one of the premier painters of the movement that was the new school of Belgian art,
Museums where his work can be seen include those at Brussels, Ghent and Antwerp,
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