Jean-François Portaels 1818 - 1895 | Belgian orientalist painter
Jean-François Portaels, 1818 - 1895, was a Belgian orientalist painter and director of the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. Portaels was an extremely prolific artist. Huge oil paintings adorning the walls of St Jacques-sur-Caudenberg; biblical scenes, such as The Daughter of Sion Reviled (in the Brussels Gallery), The Death of Judas, The Magi travelling to Bethlehem, Judiths Prayer, and The Drought in Judaea; genre pictures, such as A Box in the Theatre at Budapest (Brussels Gallery), portraits of officials and of high society, Oriental scenes and, above all, pictures of exotic female figures and exotic life. "His work is usually marked by an easy grace, which he perhaps uses to excess", wrote Théophile Gautier. But his pleasing and abundant productions as a painter do not constitute Portaels' crowning merit.