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Biography of Anna Boch a Belgian Painter who died Loving Art

Updated on December 29, 2017

A Painter who never got her due

Early Life

Anna Rosalie Boch was a Belgium painter. She was born in 1848 at Saint –Vaast, Hainaut and died in 1936 at the age of 88 in Ixelles . Her body is interred at the Ixelles Cemetery, Brussels, Belgium.

Anna was born into an affluent family. She belonged to the privileged elite. She was a descendant of the Boch family which had a very successful business in ceramics. Her father Victor Boch and mother Anne-Marie – Lucia Boch had a big hand in her upbringing. They ensured she spent her childhood and early years in the lap of luxury. She also had a brother named Eugene, with who she bonded closely. Anna’s parents were cultured and appreciated art. They allowed their children a freedom that was normally not given to children in that era and encouraged them in their vocation.

Early Forays into Painting

From a young age Anna was fond of painting. Much of the credit for her further development in art must be credited to her parents who encouraged her. That they were affluent had an effect on their thought and her upbringing. As Boch grew up she became a pupil of Isidore Verheyden. He was about the same age as Boch and both appear to have got on well together. A relationship between the two cannot be ruled out. Vergeyden painted landscapes, portraits and still life. Bosch also under his influence painted on the same subjects.

Neo-Impressionist Movement and Pointillism

During this period the ‘Neo Impressionist’ movement started. Launched by French art critic Felix Feneon in 1883. This movement consisted of painting urban areas and scenery's in a new representation. It made use of the technique of Pointillism, in which small, distinct dots of pure color are used to create an image, She met Theo Van Rysselberghe in 1886 and was greatly influenced by him. She joined his Les XX a circle founded by him.

This is also the time she developed her neo-impressionist style, which along with Pointillism's has remained the hall mark of her paintings. She was introduced to the famous painter Vincent van Gough by her brother Eugene during this period. Van Gough was a great artist but the role of Anna Boch in his life has never been acknowledged. It is similar to his sister in law Johanna van Gough-Bonger. Both women remained in touch with each other after the death of van Gough. Boch painted prodigiously. In all she produced 913 paintings. Besides her own paintings, Anna Boch owned one of the most important collections of impressionist paintings of its time.

Van Gough and Anna

Vincent van Gough sold one of his paintings ‘The Red Vineyard’ to Boch for 400 Francs. Gough never sold another painting himself to anyone other than this. Vincent van Gough also painted Anna Boch in 1888. An emotional liaison between the two cannot be ruled out .Anna Bosch never formally married. She had no children of her own and adopted Ida van Haelewin the daughter of her gardener. On her death she bequeathed 140 of her paintings to her god child. The paintings remained in the house of Haelewin till her death in 1992. Her great nephew Luitwin van Boch had purchased these paintings in 1968, but they remained in the house of Haelewin.

Last Word

Most of the Anna Boch collection was sold after her death in 1936. In her will she donated the money from this sale to pay for the retirement of her poor artist friends. Some paintings were donated to the Musees Royaux des Beaux Arts in Brussels and various museums like Musees Royaux de Belgique. Anna Bosch died in 1936 of natural causes. As a mark of respect to honor her and Eugene the Anna & Eugene Boch Museum / Expo opened on March 30, 2011.


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    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 4 years ago from Singapore

      Mabs I won't be able to help you on that. But I am sure it will have a high value. Don't give it cheap

    • profile image

      mabs armitage 4 years ago

      I have a signed tile by anna boch. titled old town .would love to know its value

    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 4 years ago from Singapore

      Thank you rooftop view

    • rooftopview profile image

      V Sridhar Subramaniam 4 years ago from Bangalore

      I had heard of Van Gogh and the Red Vineyard being the only painting he sold (when he was alive). Did not realize it was bought by another painter and enthusiast - Anna Boch. Good hub.

      A minor comment - check for spelling of Van Gogh and Boch and make it consistent in the hub.

    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 4 years ago from Singapore

      Thank you pstraubie for a lovely comment. I am encouraged

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      What a shame that she was not recognized for her work while she lived. The ones shown here would hang nicely in my home. Of course I will look on line to see more of them.

      I had no knowledge of her so thank you for sharing this with us.

      Angels are on the way to you this evening. ps

    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 4 years ago from Singapore

      Thank you Europewalker for commenting

    • europewalker profile image

      europewalker 4 years ago

      Interesting article, I had never heard of Anna Boch. I just viewed some of her paintings online and they are very nice.

    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 4 years ago from Singapore

      Thank you Jabelufiroz for commenting

    • jabelufiroz profile image

      Firoz 4 years ago from India

      Great hub on Biography of Anna Boch. Voted up.