HENRI SCHAFER (1833-1916)

HENRI SCHAFER (1833-1916)

Code: 2408


W: 54cm (21.3")H: 64cm (25.2")

Henri Schäfer (French, 1854-1916)

'' Bruges, Belgium ''

Watercolour on paper

25 x 21 in (64 x 54 cm) framed approx


Fine 19th century watercolour by Henri Schäfer. Excellent quality and condition study of the beautiful city of Bruges in Belgium, with a bustling market street and the famous Belfry of Bruges behind the buildings. Signed and inscribed lower left and presented in an ornate gilt frame.


Ready to hang.

Artist Information:

Henri Schäfer was a 19th century French artist who travelled throughout Europe painting town scenes and buildings in Northern France, Belgium and Germany. He retired to England becoming a British subject and was known to be living in the Islington area of London. He continued to paint until the turn of the century. Many of his works depict the architecture of gothic cathedrals and churches. He also produced interior studies of churches.

Because of the similarity in their names, the overlap in their times of active work, and this artist’s sometime residence in Britain, the townscape paintings of Henri Schäfer are often misattributed to the British artist Henry Thomas Schafer, and their biographical details are occasionally merged, most notably in Emmanuel Benezit, Dictionnaire Critique et Documentaire des Peintres.

The catalogs of auction houses regularly confuse the two artists. Distinct biographical sketches may be found in Christopher Wood’s The Dictionary of Victorian Painters. In addition, some auction houses attribute paintings that by style and signature appear to be by Henri Schäfer to artist Heinrich Hermann Schäfer (1815-1884). That German artist of portrait and genre paintings is reported to sign “Herm. Schaefer”.

Schafer's style resembles that of Alfred Montague and follows the school of Samuel Prout. His works are highly decorative and are made even more interesting with the inclusion of ordinary folk going about their daily business.