Famous Belgian Artists

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Rene Magritte
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Birthdate: November 21, 1898
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lessines, Belgium
Died: August 15, 1967
Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte is remembered for his art that displayed alternate perceptions of reality. His creations were influenced by elements of pop art and minimalist art. Some of his most notable works were The Empire of Light and Les Amants. The Magritte Museum is dedicated to his work.
Princess Delphine of Belgium
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Birthdate: February 22, 1968
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Uccle, Brussels, Belgium

With a background as colorful as her art, Princess Delphine of Belgium was known as Jonkvrouw Delphine Boël before she won paternity suit against King Albert II of Belgium and became recognized as his daughter, winning princely title for herself and her children. An established artist in her own right, she continues to create art, promoting its use in healthcare.  

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Anthony van Dyck
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Birthdate: March 22, 1599
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Antwerp, Belgium
Died: December 9, 1641

Anthony van Dyck was a Flemish Baroque artist who started painting at an early age before going on to become the leading court painter in England. Although he is best remembered for painting the aristocracy, van Dyck also painted biblical and mythological subjects. In 1632, Anthony van Dyck received a knighthood from Charles I.

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James Ensor
(Painter)
James Ensor
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Birthdate: April 13, 1860
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ostend, Belgium
Died: November 19, 1949

Painter and printmaker James Ensor spent most of his life in the North Sea fishing port of Ostend, away from hustle-bustle of big cities. Yet, he left a significant influence on every aspect of the modernist movement; from symbolism and expressionism to dada and surrealism; also a signature style that involved radical distortion of form, muddled surface and riotous color.  

Jan Brueghel the Elder
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Birthdate: 1568 AD
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: January 13, 1625

Flemish painter Jan Brueghel the Elder is perhaps best remembered for his floral still lifes and landscapes. The second son of legendary Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder, he was also nicknamed "Velvet" Brueghel and "Flower" Brueghel and was a court painter of Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II.

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Roger van der Weyden
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Birthdate: 1400 AD
Birthplace: Tournai, Belgium
Died: June 18, 1464

Roger van der Weyden was an Early Netherlandish painter whose paintings were exported to Spain and Italy, thanks to his popularity and success. Not surprisingly, Van der Weyden received commissions from important people and foreign princes. Today, Roger van der Weyden is considered one of the three great Early Netherlandish painters and the 15th century’s most influential Northern painter.

Pieter Brueghel the Younger
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Birthdate: May 23, 1564
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: October 10, 1636

Flemish painter Pieter Brueghel the Younger was the eldest son of legendary Flemish painter Pieter Brueghel the Elder. Mostly known for re-creating his father’s works, he also created numerous original paintings, mostly depicting rural life. His works now adorn museums in cities such as Paris and Amsterdam.

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Félicien Rops
(Painter, Illustrator)
Félicien Rops
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Birthdate: July 7, 1833
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Namur
Died: August 23, 1898

Belgian painter and graphic artist Félicien Rops is best remembered for his association with symbolism and Fin-de Siecle, and for his prints. Part of the Les Vingt group of artists, he created masterpieces such as Absinthe Drinker and Lady with the Puppet. He also experimented with erotic themes.

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Anna Boch
(Painter)
Anna Boch
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Birthdate: February 10, 1848
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: La Louvière
Died: February 25, 1936

Anna Boch was a Belgian painter best remembered for her Impressionist style. Apart from painting, Boch also held one of the most prominent collections of Impressionist paintings. Anna Boch is also remembered for supporting and promoting young artists like Vincent van Gogh. 

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Jacob Jordaens
(Former Flemish painter known for his history paintings, genre scenes and portraits)
Jacob Jordaens
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Birthdate: May 19, 1593
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Antwerp, Belgium
Died: October 18, 1678

Flemish painter Jacob Jordaens was a major part of the Flemish Baroque movement. He is best remembered for his works such as Allegory of Fertility and known for his signature use of warm colors and scenes inspired by proverbs, mythology, allegories. He also designed many tapestries.

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Hugo van der Goes
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Birthdate: 1440 AD
Birthplace: Ghent
Died: 1482 AD

One of the most popular 15th-century Flemish painters, Hugo van der Goes belonged to the Early Netherlandish and Northern Renaissance schools. Remembered for his iconic pieces such as Portinari Triptych, Fall and Redemption of Man, and Monforte Altarpiece, he once tried killing himself due to depression.

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Paul Delvaux
(Painter)
Paul Delvaux
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Birthdate: September 23, 1897
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Huy
Died: July 20, 1994

Paul Delvaux was a Belgian painter best remembered for his dream-like scenes of classical architecture, women, train stations, trains, and skeletons. Although he is considered a surrealist, Delvaux identified with the Surrealist movement only briefly. However, he did combine the bizarre juxtapositions of surrealism with the classical beauty of academic painting.

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Clara Peeters
(Painter)
Clara Peeters
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Birthdate: 1594 AD
Birthplace: Antwerp, Belgium
Died: 1659 AD

Clara Peeters was a Flemish painter from Antwerp known for her still-life works. Active in both the Spanish Netherlands and the Dutch Republic, she is the most famous female Flemish artist of her era. She was one of the few women artists working professionally in 17th-century Europe. She is believed to have been a wealthy and successful artist.  

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Petrus Christus
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Birthdate: 1410 AD
Birthplace: Baarle-Hertog, Belgium
Died: 1475 AD

South Netherlandish painter Petrus Christus is remembered as a pioneer of the geometric or linear perspective in the Netherlands. His best-known works include Portrait of a Young Girl and Virgin with Saints Jerome and Francis. However, he remained anonymous for centuries and was not recognized until modern historians explored his works.

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Luc Tuymans
(painter)
Luc Tuymans
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Birthdate: 1958 AD
Birthplace: Mortsel

Known for his pioneering non-narrative and figurative style of painting, Belgian painter Luc Tuymans often depicted war and the Holocaust in his works such as Gaskamer (Gas Chamber). He has won numerous honors, such as the Order of Leopold. He is also known for his signature style of creating series of paintings

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Francis Alÿs
(Belgian-born Mexican Artist Best Known for His Films, Installations, and Performances Called 'Paseos')
Francis Alÿs
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Birthdate: August 22, 1959
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Antwerp, Belgium

Belgian-born Francis Alÿs first moved to Mexico as part of a team that helped the country rebuild itself after its destruction in the 1985 earthquakes. He later settled there and created artwork using a variety of media, from painting to video. The Collector is one of his best-known works.

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Pierre-Joseph Redouté
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Birthdate: July 10, 1759
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saint-Hubert, Belgium
Died: June 19, 1840

Belgian-born French painter and botanist Pierre-Joseph Redouté, also known as the Raphael of flowers, was a famous court painter and one of the greatest botanical illustrators of his time. Known for his iconic pieces such as Les Liliacées, he was a specialist of painting roses, too.

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Fernand Khnopff
(Painter, Sculptor, Photographer, Philosopher, Writer)
Fernand Khnopff
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Birthdate: September 12, 1858
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dendermonde
Died: November 12, 1921

Fernand Khnopff was a Belgian painter whose works gained him recognition and helped achieve a cult status during his lifetime. He was honored with the prestigious Order of Leopold for his immense contribution to Symbolism.

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Joachim Patinir
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Birthdate: 1480 AD
Birthplace: Dinant, Belgium
Died: October 5, 1524

Joachim Patinir was a Flemish Renaissance painter best remembered for painting history and landscape subjects. He is credited with inventing world landscape, a style of panoramic Renaissance landscapes, which is considered Patinir's most significant contribution to Western art. Joachim Patinir also pioneered landscape as an independent genre.

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Frans Snyders
(Painter)
Frans Snyders
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Birthdate: November 11, 1579
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Antwerp, Belgium
Died: August 19, 1657

Flemish painter Frans Snyders is best remembered for his paintings of animals and hunting scenes. He also created still-lifes of flowers and fruits. He is also considered a pioneer in depicting animals as protagonists in everyday situations. His works also featured many collaborations with Antwerp painters.

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Marcel Broodthaers
(One of the Pivotal Figures of the Contemporary Art Scene)
Marcel Broodthaers
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Birthdate: January 28, 1924
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: January 28, 1976

Marcel Broodthaers was primarily a poet till 40, after which he focused on visual arts. One of his exhibitions showcased copies of his book Pense-Bête, encased in plaster. Over the years, he experimented with painting, printmaking, and film, too. He also headed the Musée d’Art Moderne, Département des Aigles.

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Morris
(Cartoonist)
Morris
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Birthdate: December 1, 1923
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kortrijk, Belgium
Died: July 16, 2001

Morris was a Belgian cartoonist and illustrator who created a popular comic series titled Lucky Luke, which remained a bestselling series for over five decades. The comic series was also translated into 23 languages. Morris is often ranked amongst the Greatest Belgians of all time. 

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Pierre Alechinsky
(Artist whose work is related to tachisme, abstract expressionism, and lyrical abstraction)
Pierre Alechinsky
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Birthdate: October 19, 1927
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Schaerbeek, Belgium

One of the founding members of the CoBrA art movement, Belgian abstract painter Pierre Alechinsky grew up with varied artistic interests, including folk art. Currently based in France, he works in a flexible painting style, embracing flaws and accidents in the final composition, incorporating the traditional processes of Japanese calligraphy into his paintings after a trip to that country.

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Bernard van Orley
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Birthdate: 1487 AD
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: January 6, 1541

Bernard van Orley was a Flemish artist best remembered for his versatility. He was also a designer of tapestries and stained glasses. An extremely productive painter, Bernard van Orley also served as the court artist under the House of Habsburg and its rulers.

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Karel van Mander
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Birthdate: 1548
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Meulebeke, Belgium
Died: September 2, 1606

Dutch painter and poet Karel van Mander was a significant part of the Mannerist movement. Best known for his Het Schilder-boeck, or The Book of Painters, a biographical work on artists and painters of northern Europe, he was patronized by the Haarlem city council.

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Constantin Meunier
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Birthdate: April 12, 1831
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Etterbeek, Belgium
Died: April 4, 1905

Constantin Meunier was a Belgian sculptor and painter. He is best remembered for using common man as his subject; his depiction of industrial workers, miners, and dockers played an important role in the development of modern art. Meunier's work, some of which are displayed in Belgian museums, is a reflection of the social, industrial, and political developments of his time.

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Guy Peellaert
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Birthdate: April 6, 1934
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: November 17, 2008

Guy Peellaert was a Belgian artist, comic artist, illustrator, painter, and photographer. He is best remembered for designing album covers for bands and artistes like The Rolling Stones and David Bowie. Guy Peellaert is also credited for designing posters for films like Short Cuts, Paris, Texas, and Taxi Driver.

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Christophe Szpajdel
(International calligraphist and illustrator, principally known for designing band logos)
Christophe Szpajdel
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Birthdate: September 29, 1970
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Gembloux, Belgium

Although hailed as Lord of the Logos, Europe’s leading heavy-metal logo artist Christophe Szpajdel, never studied art; instead he holds a degree in Forestry Engineering. Also a well-known illustrator and calligraphist, he started illustrating when in the first year of the university, categorizing his style as depressiv'moderne, citing Art Deco, Art Nouveau and modernism to have major influence on it.   

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Constant Permeke
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Birthdate: July 31, 1886
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Antwerp, Belgium
Died: January 4, 1952

Constant Permeke was a Belgian sculptor and painter who is considered the most important figure of Flemish expressionism. He also served in the army during World War I where he was hurt in action during the defense of Antwerp. Constant Permeke's achievements were honored by the Belgian government by having his portrait imprinted on a Belgian franc bill in 1997. 

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Jan Fyt
(Painter)
Jan Fyt
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Birthdate: March 15, 1611
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Antwerp, Belgium
Died: September 11, 1661

Jan Fyt was a Flemish Baroque painter, etcher, and draughtsman. One of the 17th century's leading animaliers, Fyt is remembered for his lush hunting pieces and refined depictions of animals. A versatile still-life specialist, Jan Fyt was also an accomplished etcher; he produced a series of etchings portraying mainly animals and dogs.

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Jacques Daret
(French painter)
Jacques Daret
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Birthdate: 1404 AD
Birthplace: Tournai, Belgium
Died: 1470 AD

Jacques Daret was an Early Netherlandish painter who became an important and influential person in the Burgundian court. Some of his most important works such as the Adoration of the Magi, the Presentation in the Temple, and the Nativity, are preserved in museums across Europe.

Adam Frans van der Meulen
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Birthdate: January 11, 1632
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: October 15, 1690

Adam Frans van der Meulen was a Flemish draughtsman and painter best remembered for depicting scenes of military conquests and campaigns. His depiction of battle scenes had a significant impact on the progerssion of military painting genre in France. A versatile painter, Adam Frans van der Meulen also painted hunting scenes, portraits, and landscapes. He even designed cartoons for tapestries.

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Christian Dotremont
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Birthdate: December 12, 1922
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tervuren, Belgium
Died: August 20, 1979

Christian Dotremont was a Belgian poet and painter best remembered for founding the Revolutionary Surrealist Group in 1946. He is also credited with co-founding an influential European avant-garde movement called COBRA. Christian Dotremont is also remembered for his painted poems which he called logograms. 

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Sophie Podolski
(Former Poet, graphic artist known for The book Le pays où tout est permis (1972))
Sophie Podolski
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Birthdate: October 8, 1953
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: December 29, 1974

Belgian poet and graphic artist Sophie Podolski is best known for her only published book during her lifetime, Le pays où tout est permis. A patient of schizophrenia, she had been to psychiatric clinics and had issues with drugs. She eventually tried committing suicide and died 10 days later.

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Gillis van Coninxloo
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Birthdate: January 24, 1544
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Antwerp, Belgium
Died: January 4, 1607

Gillis van Coninxloo was a Flemish painter who specialized in landscape painting. He played a prominent role in the progression of Northern landscape art during the late 16th and early 17th century. Gillis van Coninxloo is also credited with teaching many future painters like Willem van den Bundel, Pieter Brueghel the Younger, and Hercules Seghers.

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Caspar de Crayer
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Birthdate: November 18, 1582
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Antwerp, Belgium
Died: January 27, 1669

Caspar de Crayer was a Flemish painter best remembered for his portraits and Counter-Reformation altarpieces. He also served as a court painter under the governors of the Southern Netherlands. Caspar de Crayer showcased his expertise in some of the most important cities of Flanders where he helped popularize the Rubens style. 

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Felix Timmermans
(Translator)
Felix Timmermans
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Birthdate: July 5, 1886
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lier, Belgium
Died: January 24, 1947

Felix Timmermans was a Belgian author whose works earned him three nominations for the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature over the course of his illustrious career. A versatile writer, Timmermans wrote plays, religious works, historical novels, and poems. He was also a drawer and painter. Felix Timmermans is also one of the most translated authors from Flanders.    

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Pedro Campaña
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Birthdate: 1503 AD
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: 1586 AD

Pedro Campaña was a Flemish painter who was mainly active in Spain and Italy. Campaña is best remembered for his association with Italian sculptor Torregiano and Spanish painter Luis de Vargas between 1537 and 1562, during which he helped establish a school of painting which eventually became an academy that taught future painters like Luis de Morales among others.

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Simón Pereyns
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Birthdate: 1530 AD
Birthplace: Antwerp, Belgium
Died: 1600 AD

Simon Pereyns was a Flemish painter who gained fame after moving to Mexico in 1566. Among his most prominent work was Virgin of Forgiveness, which was housed at the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral. Unfortunately, the painting was destroyed in a fire in 1967. 

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Sergine André
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Birthdate: 1969 AD
Birthplace: Verettes, Haiti

Currently based in Brussels, Sergine André is an exponent of the Plasticien movement of paintings. Born and raised in the Artibonite region of Haiti, her art draws heavily from her childhood surrounding, conveying an otherworldly feelings and sensations, with joy of life as well as the inevitability of death being some of her recurring themes.

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Paul Van Hoeydonck
(Painter)
Paul Van Hoeydonck
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Birthdate: October 8, 1925
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Antwerp, Belgium

A self-taught artist, Paul Van Hoeydonck is best known for his aluminum sculpture Fallen Astronaut, which was installed on the Moon by the Apollo 15 crew in the 1970s. He also co-established the group G58 and was a fine painter, too. At times, he combined photography and drawing in his works.