Wood engraver and expressionist


Born in Antwerp.


Follows evening classes in painting, architecture, sculpture and wood carving at the Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp.

from 1911

Arts degree at the National Higher Institute in Antwerp. He and his model, Eugenie Liekens, live together.


When the war breaks out he is mobilised and sent to the front at Luik/Liege. He escapes to The Netherlands with his regiment via Antwerp, is interned in Middelburg but quickly moves to Amsterdam where he follows painting and wood carving lessons at the academy.

Is influenced by Japanese prints, German expressionism, Cubism, and Futurism.


Resides on the Kalmthoutse Heide, where he produces paintings and linoleum cuts. Returns to Antwerp, marries Eugenie.

In-house illustrator of the avant-garde magazine Lumière; designs puppets and decor for puppet shows of this group. Meets Frans Masereel. Illustrates books among which is the notorious La Garçonne by Victor Margueritte. Paints cubist landscapes and expressionist nudes. Belongs to De Vijf with his fellow wood carvers Masereel, Jan and Jozef Cantré and Joris Minne, who helped re-popularise this technique.

He depicts scenes of life in the habour city, the fringes of society, ballet and theatre. Moves to Kalmhout and lives a free life (naturism, anti-authoritarian parenting). Etches on zinc plates. When the war breaks out he works at the Plantijn-Moretus Museum and for the National Service for Placement Service and Unemployment. Produces propaganda prints for the German occupier to make ends meet and works for collaborating organisations.