Laurent Joseph Olivier

Belgium, b.1808, d.1857

Portrait of Madame Justine Delcour

  • 1840
  • Oil on canvas
  • Purchased, 1971
  • 1170 x 1045 x 105mm
  • 71/37

Madame Justine Delcour and her husband, Judge Lambert Delcour, owned a château near Verviers in the West of Belgium. Laurent Olivier has painted this three quarter portrait in a careful, precise academic manner. He also did a companion portrait of Judge Delcour and the two paintings were hung in the family chateau for the next seventy years.. However, during World War I the chateau was commandeered by German troops who, it would seem, took exception to Madame’s image in someway because she became the target for more than one carefully aimed bullet. The painting was restored and the two portraits remained with the Delcour family in Belgium until 1961 when they were brought to New Zealand. They were later inherited by the great grandson and granddaughter of the sitters, then living in Christchurch. The companion portrait of Judge Lambert Delcour was destroyed in a warehouse fire in Christchurch in 1979. Olivier was born in Verviers, established his studio there and died there. He concentrated mainly on portrait painting.

Exhibition History