Roger Gobron - Belgian Painter 1899-1985


Signature in 1952


Slideshow Roger Gobron











Roger Gobron is born on the ninth of October 1899, in Sint-Joost-ten-Node, Brussels, the youngest of two.

He and his sister Andrée (1897- 1990) are sent by their father Joseph Gobron (1870-1945) and mother Josephine Lassine (1863-1932), to live with their aunt Flavie Lassine in Saint-Mard in the region of the Gaume at the border of Luxembourg. Aunt Flavie and nanny, Florence Dupont raise the two children.

He watches Nestor Outer paint a watercolour in Florence Dupont's back garden.

The children join their parents in Brussels. Roger completes the school Ecole Communale d'Anderlecht. He registers at the music school of Anderlecht. He follows evening courses in drawing and decorative art at the school Arts et Métier, taught by Désiré Piryns.

Roger attends high school at the Royal Atheneum of Brussels until 1915.

He paints his first watercolours. Signs his work with his initials and subsequently slanted with R. Gobron until the late 1930s.

Meets the writer Octave Maus and painter Camille Barthelemy in the Gaume to which he will return to during his entire life, if only for short periods.

Studies at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Brussels, with teachers Adolphe Crespin, Herman Richir, Louis Tits and Georges Van Eechoute until 1918. Wins first prize with distinction in ornamental art at the academy.

Works in workshops of decorative art until May 1921.

Until April 1922, completes his military service in Antwerp where he befriends the future architect Leon Stijnen.

Works until 1930 in his parents' plate glass factory. Plays the violin at screenings of silent films and performs together with his friend Philippe Voets in orchestras in and around Brussels.

Joins the art-group Cercle d'Anderlecht with whom he will exhibit until 1975. Follows evening-courses in accounting and meets Elise Weymans (1894-1983).

Gobron's sister Andrée marries the poet Maurice Carême. In later years, he will call her Caprine.

Elise Weymans buys a house in Heist-aan-Zee. The couple convert it into a boarding-house. Impressed by the sea and the Flemish landscape, Gobron's colour pallet changes.

Roger holds his first individual exhibition in the gallery La Cimaise in Brussels.

Marries Elise Weymans. He lives in the boarding-house in Heist-aan-Zee until 1933.

Exhibits in Oostende amidst James Ensor and Willem Van Hecke. Runs a cinema called Flora in Ieper where the couple live in winter. Roger joins the art-group of Ieper. As a result of his musical activities he meets Victor Legley, the future composer and chairman of the author's association Sabam.

Roger abandons Elise Weymans and leaves for Bath in Britain for three months to join his beloved Cléo Brown, also called Miss (born in 1904). His work is influenced by Cubism.

Buys a house in Blankenberge and again converts it into a boarding-house. Meets Fabienne Roman (1909-1990). She becomes his model and partner. At the outbreak of war, he looses the house.

Becomes good friends with the painters Willem Van Hecke and André Dalle.

Meets Marie-Jo Coevoet, born in 1916.

Renounces his music career for a short period and moves together with Marie-Jo and Fabienne to the village Oost-Eeklo in the Belgian countryside to avoid the German occupiers. They are joined by André Dalle and his family. Gobron's pallet again changes.

Holds an exhibition in the Salon du Cercle Belge de la Librairie, Brussels. Marries Marie-Jo Coevoet and moves together with his wife and Fabienne to Balgerhoeke, near the town of Eeklo. They welcome the writers Jan Vercammen and Firmin Cuypers as well as the French artist Michel Ciry in their home.

Roger, Marie-Jo and Fabienne move to Eeklo. The art critic Jan Walraevens, pays them a visit and is full of praize for Gobron's works.

As a violinist is part of the Eeklo orchestra until 1962.

Exhibits in Eeklo and founds a string quartet.

Fabienne leaves the married couple only to return to them two years later.

Exhibitions take place, in Ghent and Brussels amongst other places. Marie-Jo Gobron wins the Hubert Krains prize for her collection of poems Houles, the cover of which is illustrated by Roger.

Birth of his son Jean-Noël Gobron followed by an important exhibition at the gallery Au Cheval de Verre, Brussels.

Gobron's watercolour Musique de Chambre is published in the Annuaire des Beaux-Arts de Belgique (1950-51).

Illustrates Marie-Jo's collection of poems De Visage à Visage. The couple buy a house in Bruges.

Accompanied by Fabienne, they move to Bruges. They are invited to the homes of painters Henri Victor Wolvens and Rik Slabbinck. Roger meets the sculptor George Grard.

The couple go on holiday to Vitré in Brittany which will lead to a large collection of paintings inspired by the trip. Fabienne marries.

Jean-Noël takes the first pictures of his father at the latter's exhibition, with the intention of making a documentary.

Prince Charles, Regent of Belgium (1944-50), visits Roger and Marie-Jo in their home.

Roger illustrates the cover of Marie-Jo's collection of poems Instants.

Gobron dies in Bruges on the 24th of March, leaving behind more than three-thousand works. Jean-Noël and Marie-Jo Gobron found the association Alcyon Film in memoriam of the painter.

Jean-Noël Gobron completes the documentary Portrait of my father watercolourist. The film obtains various prizes and is still being screened both within and outside Belgium.

Roger Gobron in 1918
Drawing, signed Chot
Portrait Roger Gobron by Chot