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Timeline of Khnopff’s Life

1858 Fernand Khnopff born on September 12 at Grembergen-lez-Termonde, near Brussels, Belgium, in the castle of his maternal grandparents.

1859 the family moves to Bruges, where his father serves as a magistrate.

1860 birth of his brother Georges, who pursues a literary career.

1864 birth of his sister Marguerite, who becomes his favorite model.

1866 the family moves to Brussels and spends summers in Fosset, in the Belgian Ardennes, where his family owned property.

1875 Fernand studies law at the Université libre of Brussels, and studies painting with Xavier Mellery, as well.

1876 Abandons law and studies painting at the Brussels Academy of Fine Arts.

1877-79 Extended trips to Paris; studies French art and discovers English Pre-Raphaelites.

1881 First public exhibitions in Brussels with the group L’Essor.

1883 Co-founder of the avant-garde exhibition group Les XX, where he exhibits until the group dissolves in 1893.

1885 Acquaintance with Joséphin Péladan, founder of the Salons de la Rose+Croix, a decadent and mystical Catholic exhibition society, supposedly inspired by Rosicrucian theories.

1886 Jean Moréas publishes the Symbolist Manifesto in Paris. Emile Verhaeren describes Khnopff as a Symbolist artist in l’Art Moderne – the first artist to be so called. First exhibition in England; contact with British Pre-Raphaelite artists at least by 1889.

1890 Wedding of his sister and model Marguerite, who moves to Liège.

1891 Becomes friends with the Macquet sisters Elsie, Lily and Nancy, an English family living in Brussels. They soon model for him. First stay in England.

1892 Invited to participate in the first Salon de la Rose+Croix in Paris. Becomes a member of the Society of Portrait Painters in London.

1894 Exhibits at the first salon of La Libre Esthétique, which replaced Les XX in Brussels. Also exhibits in Munich.

1895 Appointed correspondent for the British modern art journal The Studio. Exhibits in Vienna, Munich, Paris and London.

1898 Khnopff exhibits in Vienna. He has a whole room dedicated to his art, and he is featured in a special issue of Ver Sacrum, the journal of the Vienna Secession, which he designs himself.

1900 Khnopff designs his unique house in Brussels at Avenue des Courses, which was closer to the Vienna Art Nouveau. Unfortunately, the house was demolished in 1936.

1903-13 A long and fruitful collaboration with Maurice Kufferath, director of the Théâtre de la Monnaie.

1908 Marries Marthe Worms (1874-1958). Divorced after three years of marriage.

1907 Made a member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels. In the years that followed he frequently served on juries and commissions, gave lectures, and published numerous notices in the Bulletin de l’Académie.

1914-18 During the German occupation of Belgium, Khnopff remains in Brussels, painting and quietly doing charity work. His health and eyesight begin to decline.

1918 Teaches painting at the Atelier Labor in Brussels.

1921 Khnopff dies on November 12 in Brussels; he is interred in Laeken cemetery.

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