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  • Jacques Schyrgens born in Elsene, Belgium 1923 is a Belgian-Canadian painter and illustrator. His Father was Antoine Schyrgens, architect, draftsman, painter, teacher and a founder of he the Beaux Arts Academy in Ostend. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts Ostend, and studied anatomy at Serge Mako's studio in Paris and in attended an Art College in Rome, Italy for three years. He traveled in Spain, the United States and Mexico before emigrating to Quebec in 1952. By the end of the Second World War his family was living in the south of France where Schyrgens staged his first exhibit at age 16. The family was very much involved in the local arts community. Schyrgens recalls Henri Matisse as a neighbor. As a youth Schyrgens was attracted to 'Commercial Art' and thought little of the established traditional artists. By the late 1940s Schyrgens was living in Spain where he believes he created his best works, inspired by Gypsy culture, music and dance. The young journeyman artist also traveled throughout Mexico. By 1952 he was living and working in Old Quebec City, where he became a Canadian citizen. He painted numerous street scenes as decoration for the stately Chateau Frontenac as he was doing the same as his livelihood. Over a nine-year period in Quebec City he produced hundreds of works, some of which were eventually sold through U.S. outlets. His work attracted moderate attention. He moved to Toronto, Ontario, where Toronto street scenes became his subject matter and again he was providing art for hotels, in this case the Royal York Hotel.

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