Franz Courtens’ Moulin Soir (Evening Windmill). Courtesy Jesuit Dallas Museum.

Franz Courtens painted this calming scene of a fisherman watching a sunset near a windmill.

Courtens, a Belgian, began painting outdoor scenes after meeting artist Hippolyte Boulenger. He practiced painting outdoors, free of the studio, or “en plein air.”

Courtens is considered a spearhead of Impressionism and became well known for his landscape paintings with bright palettes, warm colors and interesting skies. He also painted animals and marine scenes.

Courtens studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Dendermonde, Belgium before becoming a member of the Royal Academy of Belgium in 1904. He also studied at The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and served as a professor from 1904 until 1924.

Courtens lived from 1854 – 1943. A number of his paintings are still in The Belgian Royal Collection.

This artwork and the history behind its artist was shared by the Jesuit Dallas Museum. It serves as an educational experience of students attending Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas and offers new forms for historical evidence, scientific insight and artistic inspiration for students. The JDM is has more than 500 pieces in its collection.