M.S. Rau Antiques

Firmin Baes

(Belgian, 1874–1945)

de borromeïsche eilanden (the borromean islands) by firmin baes

Firmin Baes

De Borromeïsche eilanden (The Borromean Islands), 1902

Biography

Timeline

Firmin Baes was a painter, pastellist and illustrator of great merit, born in Brussels in April 1874. He was the pupil of his father, the artist and architect Henri Baes, and also of the important Belgian artist Leon Frederic. Firmin painted genre scenes and figure studies, and was a specialist at pastel. Indeed, his pastels are his most popular and sought after works and have reached exceptionally high prices at auction. For example, his pastel “Centre of Attention” fetched approximately £50,000 at auction in New York in 1995, and his Portrait of Mrs Brandt-Witlocks sold for about £44,000 in Amsterdam in 1997. He is renowned for superb technical facility and also a great use of colour. Patrick Berko notes of Baes in his Dictionary of Belgian Painters: “Where Baes shows his superiority is not so much in his amazing scientific technique but in his very real sense of decoration. One is often astounded at the skill of his composition and his layout. Firmin Baes is a virtuoso of the pastel.” In Brussels Museum there is a pastel by him entitled ‘Maternity’.