Mar 132018

Today is the birthday (1900) of Andrée Bosquet, a Belgian painter who is not especially well known to the general public for a variety of reasons, not least being that art historians have a hard job classifying her work. Bosquet was born in Tournai (Doornik in Dutch), in the province of Hainaut, now part of the Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai metropolitan area.

Bosquet took painting lessons with Marguerite Putsage, Anto Carte, and E. Motte, but she was primarily self-taught. She exhibited regularly from 1922 onwards, invited in particular by the Groupe Nervia and Le Bon Vouloir (Mons). She was awarded the Charles Caty Prize in 1963.

Bosquet used primarily oil, red chalk and charcoal, painting and drawing with simplicity and delicacy. Her subjects included multiple self-portraits, children, still life, and waterscapes. She used soft colors in half-tints mainly. Her style cannot be connected with any school defined by art history, although it is sometimes likened to Primitivist or Symbolist works. Her work are exhibited in various Belgian museums in Ghent, Brussels, Mons, and La Louvière.

She died in La Louvière on June 27, 1980. Here is my gallery of selected works:

For Bosquet I have chosen a dish that you can think of as having a distinctive Walloon style. Like Bosquet’s art, it is both simple and profound. The trick is that it is made from classic ingredients from Wallonia: Herve cheese and sirop de Liège. Rotsa ruck finding them outside of Belgium. Herve cheese is a strongly flavored, rind washed soft cheese made from cow’s milk. The aging process takes place in ripening cellars of the Herve countryside, sometimes cut into its chalky rock. Sirop de Liège is made by boiling apple or pear juices for hours until they are reduced to a syrup, somewhat like apple butter only not as firm.

Toast thick slices of crusty bread. Spread them with sirop de Liège, and top this with a layer of Herve cheese. Place the slices on a baking sheet and bake in a very hot oven for a few minutes until the cheese melts. Serve hot straight from the oven.