Governor’s portrait on display  Share

The museum owns a painted portrait of each one of the twenty governors who have headed the National Bank over the years. From 17 November 2010 to 29 January 2011 you can see the portrait of Governor Victor Van Hoegaerden (1891-1905) at the Maison des Arts in Schaarbeek. It is on display there in the exhibition ‘Jacques de Lalaing. Combat de tigres à Schaerbeek/Tijgergevecht in Schaarbeek’.

Governor van Hoegaerden

The exhibition centres on the ‘Pylon‘ (‘Tiger Mast’), the 13 metre high sculpture which Jacques de Lalaing worked on from 1887 to 1910, and which nowadays stands at the corner of Paul Deschanel and Louis Bertrand Avenue in Schaarbeek. The pylon was classed as a protected monument by the Brussels Region and will shortly be restored. Good enough reason to focus the spotlight on the artist who designed this work.


Jacques de Lalaing (1858-1917) was not only a successful sculptor, but also a talented portrait painter. The pre-1914 economic and political elite were more than willing to have their portrait painted by him, and that was equally true of the sixth governor of the National Bank, Victor Van Hoegaerden, in 1899. In a letter to the artist dated 10 June 1899 his colleagues commend him for the very accurate representation of the governor; they are full of admiration for the portrait which is not only very true to life, but also expresses the governor’s personality and character. The 21st century art lover will find that this painting depicts a severe looking man who is getting on in years, a man who – at the end of his life- was able to look back on a successful career as a cotton baron and financier.

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