|Dimensions||Image & Plate 280 x 200 mm|
Signed and inscribed in pencil
Ferdinand Giele was born at Louvain in 1867, son of the Director of the Botanical Gardens Louvain. Giele was trained as a graphic artist and printer in Louvain. By the start of the First World War, he was teaching at the Louvain Academy, was engraver to the University and to the Prince d'Arenberg. On the night when the newly billeted German troops thought that they were being attacked by French soldiers and opened fire at each other and then on civilians, Giele's house, like the great university library, was burnt to the ground, prompting his move to the United Kingdom.
From 1916 to 1919 Ferdinand Giele lived in England where he attended the famous etching classes given by Sir Frank Short at the Royal College of Art. Here he developed a fine linear style, and as Mons. Dumont wrote in the Biographie Nationale "il produit des oeuvres extremement remarkable en Angleterre". Almost all of his etchings were of Oxford as he was probably drawn by the nature of the University, which like Louvain was collegiate. During his time in England Giele visited other cities, producing etchings of Windsor and Eton [No15] and exhibited two, of Bury-St-Edmunds and Windsor at the Royal Academy. It was these three that were the only non-Oxford etchings he sent to the exhibition organised by La Graveur Originale Belge at the Fine Art Society in 1927. Giele also had an affinity for church interiors and these are among his best productions. His etchings of Westminster Abbey [No21] and the interior of Eton College Chapel [No16] feature in this exhibition. In all he produced some hundred works.
Ferdinand Giele returned to Louvain at the end of the War where he produced a set of etchings of the havoc caused by the troubles on that night in 1914; he was a founder member of La Graveur Original Belge, and a member of the Belgian Societe des aquafortistes as well as being president of the Circle Royal Artistique de Leuven. He died in 1929.
Text courtesy of the Hon. Christopher Lennox Boyd