- Also known as
primary name: Siret, Adolphe
- individual; author/poet; journalist/critic; Belgian; Male
- Life dates
- Art historian, poet and critic, born in Beaumont, retired and died in Antwerp. Worked in Ghent, where he contributed to the newspaper 'Le Messager de Gand'. Combined his administrative job in Saint-Nicolas with literary activities. Married a niece of the painter Cornelis Cels (Lierre 1778 - Brussels 1859).
Author of the nationalist essay 'La Gravure en Belgique' (1852), in which the current and future state of Belgian printmaking was described, and of the 'Dictionnaire historique des peintres des toutes les écoles' (first published in 1848, reedited in 1862 and 1884). Founder and editor of 'Le Journal des Beaux-Arts et de la Littérature' (1859-1887). In this periodical, which was regarded as rather conservative, Siret tried to promote the production of prints in Belgium. The journal frequently included prints and twelve annual albums of ten prints appeared between 1870 and 1883.
In 1875 Siret campaigned for the work of a young painter from Bruges who had died aged 10, Frédéric van de Kerckhove. Posthumous exhibitions were organized in Ghent, Antwerp and Paris (1877). Siret published 'L'Enfant de Bruges' (1876), completed in 1877 by a series of etchings reproducing van de Kerckhove's paintings engraved by the boy's father, Jean ('Cent eaux- fortes gravées par Jean V.d.K. d'après les tableaux de Frédéric V.d.K'). The attribution of the paintings to Frederic was however debated, some critics arguing that the real author of the works was his father.
Siret's initials (ADS) and name (as dedication) are found on several prints among the large group of XIXc Belgian prints purchased from M. Emile Lefèvre in 1888 for £108 (1888,0612.145 to 1865). Furthermore, a group of prints contain inscriptions that relate to competitions organised by the 'Journal des Beaux-Arts et de la Littérature' in Brussels in three successive years (1873-75). Therefore, the whole group probably formed the collection of Adolphe Siret.
- Roland Mortier, 'L'Enfant de Bruges et les écrivains', Académie royale de langue et de littérature françaises de Belgique, Brussels 1999.
Milou Goverde and Sarah Van Ooteghem, 'A personal contribution to the promotion of printmaking in 19th-century Belgium: Adolphe Siret's private collection revealed', in I. Goddeeris and N. Goldman (eds.), "Animateur d'art", Brussels, 2015, pp.185-198.