His life

Louis Van Gorp was born on September 21, 1932 in Arendonk, a small village in the Northeastern part of Belgium. His full name was Corneel Lodewijk Pieter Van Gorp and his given name “Louis”.

From very early on, he expressed the wish to become an artist. From hearsay, his drawing skills at age 4 were already outstanding. At age 11, he painted a copy of Leonardo DaVinci’s “L’Ultima Cena” as a present for his parents. Due to the Second World War he missed one year at school, but this did not prevent him from pursuing his dream.

In 1952, Louis Van Gorp started studying Fine Arts at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. In 1954, he graduated cum laude and received the Jussiant Award in the discipline ‘drawing of the human body’. From 1958 till 1963, he dedicated himself to postgraduate education and specialised in portraits, human figures, and animals at the National Higher Institute of Fine Arts in Antwerp. He received the title of ‘Laureate’, a title which serves as a master’s recognition.

Louis Van Gorp’s painter’s palette

In 1963, he founded the municipal Academy of Fine Arts in Arendonk, an institute for part-time art education. Until 1993, he was its director and lecturer in the final grade of the programme “The Art of Painting” . In 1968 he married the Dutch artist Maria Anna Lavrijsen. Together they had seven children: Viola, Baldwin, Angelo, Roeland, Diederik, Marjolijn, and Jasmijn.

In 1994, Van Gorp received special recognition: during a private visit to his art studio, King Albert II and Queen Paola of Belgium asked him to paint their official state portraits. This assignment was followed by several commissions for portraits by Belgian and international officials.

In 1998, he won the Award for Fine Arts ‘Recognition by Ernest Albert’. Two years later, in 2000, Louis Van Gorp became honorary citizen of his hometown Arendonk. He remained active as portraitist and artist until his unexpected death on December 26th, 2008.


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