COMBAZ, Gisbert-Corneille-Henri-Paul

COMBAZ, Gisbert-Corneille-Henri-Paul. Anvers 23.9.1869 — Saint-Gilles (Bruxelles) 18.1.1941. Belgian Painter, Art Historian and Archaeologist. Also himself a painter. Professor in Brussels. Son of major Paul C. and Marie-Amélie Vanden Eynde. Studies of law at Université libre in Brussels (dr. of law 1891) and worked briefly as lawyer. In 1893 turned to art study. In 1894-1940 he held a course of decorative art at École des Arts industrielles et décoratifs in Ixelles. From 1905 he was Professor of Art History at Université Nouvelle, from 1912 Professor “de composition d’ornements” at Académie royale des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles. Married 1895 Marthe Verhas, two daughters and one son.

He wrote pioneer studies on the relationship and influence between various artistic traditions, and was one of the first to give Indian art its proper historical position and relationships. In this he was originally guided by La Vallée Poussin and soon also formed close relations with S. Lévi and other Parisian scholars. Also conducted research on symbolics of Eastern art. Himself a noted Art Nouveau artist.

Publications: Research on Chinese art.

– “L’évolution du stūpa en Asie”, Mél. chinois et bouddhiques 2, 1932-33, 163-305; 3, 1934-35, 93-144; 4, 1935-36, 1-125; “Masques et dragons d’Asie”, Mél. chinois et bouddhiques 7, 1939-45, Bruxelles 1945, 1-10, 72-92, 172-249.

L’Inde et l’Orient classique. I. Texte. 265 p. II. Table des titres abrégés, références iconographiques, planches. 51 p. 165 pl. Publ. du Musée Guimet, Documents d’art et d’arch. 1. P. 1937.

Sources: Grousset & Auboyer, Mél. chinois et bouddhiques 7, 1939-45, i-ix with photo; H. Lavachery, Biogr. Nat. Belg. 33, 1965, 169-173; P. Servais, D.O.L.F. 234; Wikipedia, photo in the much shorter French version.

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