The Golden Wedding Feast by Circle of Ferdinand de Braekeleer


Circle of Ferdinand de Braekeleer (Belgian, 1792-1883)
41 ½ x 49 ½ in. 
Framed: 51 ¼ x 58 ½ in. 
Oil on canvas

The original version of this work, which is now housed in the collection of the Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique in Brussels, received enormous success when displayed at the Salon of 1839. Soft evening sun illuminates a jubilant celebration of family and villagers who have gathered to feast and celebrate a fiftieth wedding anniversary, a Golden Wedding anniversary. At the centre of the composition, an elderly couple dance lightly while gazing lovingly at one another, surrounded by generations of family and friendships - a testimonial to their union.

After graduating from the Royal Academy for Fine Arts of Antwerp, de Braekeleer refined his skills studying abroad in Italy, before returning to Antwerp where he influenced an impressive group of pupils, among whom were not only his son Henri and his nephew Adrien, but students such as Jan August Hendrik Leys and Ernest Slingeneyer. His historical and genre works, inspired by the old Flemish masters, earned him accolades during his career, including the Prix de Rome in 1819.