Heva Coomans


Heva Coomans (1864-?)
[H. Coomans]
Pupil of:   Joseph Coomans

The late Joseph Coomans was one of the most popular of European painters with American collectors, and the sale of his works in this country alone made him a very rich man. He was a native of Brussels, and a pupil of Professor Hasselaere at Ghent, and of Nicaise de Keyser and Baron Wappers at the Antwerp Academy. From Antwerp he removed to Paris, and going with the French army to Algiers, where he resided several years, he later traveled extensively in Italy, Turkey, Greece, and the Crimea. At this time he painted historical and portrait subjects, but in 1857 he visited Italy, and became interested in the remains of ancient Pompeii, which were then being excavated. From this time forth he took up the line of subjects which made him famous. He had two daughters, both of whom possessed remarkable artistic gifts, and who, as his pupils, became well-known painters. Some years before his death he visited America, residing here for a prolonged period, and his daughters accompanied him and became favorites in the best New York society. Both Miss Heva Coomans and her sister Diana paint the same class of objects as their father, and very much in his manner and feeling of color. In "The Pompeiian Flower Girl" is presented an extremely characteristic example of one talented daughter of a famous parent.

In "A Message" Miss Heva Coomans is represented by another of the Pompeiian subjects which come to her, in a manner, as a sort of artistic legacy from her father.

In Pompeii the catching and training of wild birds for sale was quite an important employment of the poorer classes, among whom the professional bird-snarers formed an independent body. Miss Coomans shows a Pompeiian girl, inviting attention to her wares in the market-place.

On the terrace of an Italian villa of the later Roman period, which overlooks the sea, three young girls idle away the summer hours. One stretches out on the marble bench, smelling a flower as she listens to the sweet notes a companion evokes from a double flute, while the third lounges at her side, with one hand resting on her lute. Miss Coomans has made a charming picture indeed, out of very simple material in "Youth's Sunny Hours."

[Might be useless, but a NY Times obituary of July 16, 1939 mentions Joseph Coomans. Subscription only, so no idea what it contains.]

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MUNSEY'S MAGAZINE.   Vol. XIII.   August, 1895.   No. 5.   p.444


The engraving on page 442 shows one of the last pictures painted by the well known Belgian artist, Joseph Coomans, before his death, which occured in Paris on the last day of 1889. of Cooman' life and work a sketch was published in this magazine some time ago (June, 1892). He left two daughters, Diana and Heva Coomans, both of whom are known in New York and in Paris as clever figure painters. "Sappho," engraved on page 450, is a good specimen of the latter's work, which is always decorative and striking, if not always thoroughly sound in drawing.

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1915 Sappho postcard
1890 Cleopatra print

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