Sylvie Descamps Monnom

Sylvie Descamps Monnom, van Rysselberghe’s mother-in-law, ran a publishing house in Brussels that produced art periodicals. In this portrait, her tastes and interests are represented by the accessories surrounding her: an exotic Persian rug, a vase of irises on the mantelpiece, and four paintings on the wall. Van Rysselberghe’s pointillist technique reflects his sitter’s interest in avant-garde art. Small touches of pure color combine to produce a convincing sense of three-dimensional space and solidity, while finer brushstrokes are used to record the features of Madame Monnom’s face and hands.

Théo van Rysselberghe

Belgian, 1862–1926

Sylvie Descamps Monnom


Oil on canvas

46 x 35 9/16 in. (116.8 x 90.3 cm) Frame: 53 x 42 9/16 x 2 1/4 in. (134.6 x 108.1 x 5.7 cm)

Acquired by the Clark, 1967