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.


Henri Cuypers, Brussels (in 1927); [Galerie de l’Institut, Paris]; Guy Pogu, Paris; sale, Christie’s, London, 2 Dec. 1966, no. 37, as Portrait de la Mère du Peintre, sold to Arthur Tooth and Sons, London, as agent for Clark; Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1966.

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