Jan VERHAS (Belgian, 1834-1896) ✿

Jan Verhas or Jan Frans Verhas (9 January 1834 – 31 October 1896) was a Belgian painter of the Realist school. He was known for his portraits and genre paintings often depicting children of the Belgian bourgeoisie.

Jan Verhas also painted history paintings, coastal landscapes, beach scenes, seascapes and the occasional still life of flowers. He was an important representative of the Realist movement in Belgium.
Verhas studied initially at the Academy of Fine Arts in his hometown Dendermonde and from 1853 onwards at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Antwerp. Verhas' fellow students at the Academy included the Dutch painter Lawrence Alma-Tadema and Karel Ooms. Verhas struck up a life-long friendship with them.
After spending a few months in Paris he participated in the same year in the Belgian Prix de Rome. He was awarded the second prize in the competition.
Verhas settled in Brussels in 1867. He then largely abandoned history painting in favor of depictions of scenes from contemporary life. He was encouraged in this by Lawrence Alma-Tadema who was then living in Brussels. From that time his career took off as he received many official as well as private commissions including for portraits of children and genre scenes with children.
Verhas regularly contributed works to the various Salons of his time. He won a second class medal in the Paris Salon of 1881 and gold medals at the Berlin exhibition of 1883 and the Exposition Universelle of 1889.
Verhas received several official distinctions. The Belgian government made him an Officer in the Order of Leopold and the French government made him a Chevalier (Knight) in the Legion of Honour in 1881.

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