Emile Verpilleux (V)
In the beginning there was:
Emile Antoine Verpilleux & Hubert Valentine Fanshaw.
Had I known this print, “the Tower”, published in “the Studio” 1910, I would have begun my Antwerp and Verpilleux postings with it. But I didn't. We can safely assume it is his first. Probably he had just returned to London after his educational years in Antwerp. It is Antwerp’s St. Jacobs tower and for that reason I repeat here some already shown contemporary woodblocks.
L: A.v.d.J R: Jean Claessens (1978-1963)
Another souvenir de Belge is Verpilleux' print "Malines" showing the majestic tower of St. Rombouts Cathedral in Malines (Mechelen). It should have been almost twice as high but the imbalance between ambition and reality left it an impressive 96 meters still. As we know today this medieaval financial crisis surely wasn't the first nor to be the last.
She choose Mechelen her residence ruling over the Lower Countries. In the end of her life processions were held to her health. She suffered and died of a bone marrow infection after a fall from her horse and after a not very happy life. But she was well loved by her subjects. Also since 1273 the famous Hanswijk procession devoted to Maria is held here every sunday before Ascension (end of april, beginning of may) for over 800 years. Followed by a horse drawn parade with historical themes and relics of St. Rombout. Although very small the horses and horsemen are clearly visible. Well well, Emile Verpilleux the teacher, hidden history lessons from a woodblock print.
PS: thanks to Charles (see comments) here is Emil Orlik's (1860-1911) view on Mechelen (Malines) and St. Rombouts. He visited Belgium and the Netherlands in 1898.