Évariste Carpentier was a Belgian painter of genre scenes and animated landscapes. Over the years, his painting evolved from the academic art to impressionism. He is, alongside Emile Claus, one of the earliest representatives of luminism in Belgium. Evariste Carpentier was a pupil at the Antwerp Academy. He lived in Paris from 1879 till 1886. The talent and personality of the artist never ceased to develop. After having painted religious subjects and a large number of Vendée scenes, he sought in rustic life and the open air those choice subjects which can only be tackled by artists who have the talent to take on the difficulty of painting the human figure in bright sunshine, in the green countryside, and beneath the ever beautiful, harmonious Flemish sky. Carpentier taught at the Liège Academy and was its director until his death. His "Mrs Roland at Sainte-Pélagie" was exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1886 and his "Farniente, Souvenir of Flanders" at the Salon of 1887. Évariste Carpentier was born in a modest family of farmers in Kuurne. He became a pupil at the Academy of Fine Arts of Courtrai in 1861, under the direction of Henri De Pratere. There, he obtained many distinctions. In 1864 he was admitted to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp where he received tuition from Nicaise de Keyser. He proved to be gifted in painting from life, and achieved the prize of excellence in 1865, which allowed him to obtain a private studio in the Academy the following year. In 1872, Carpentier established himself in Antwerp and acquired his own studio. It is there that he painted many commissioned works, which did not yet reflect his artistic personality. His begins his career addressing religious topics, themes of the Antiquity and scenes inspired by the Dutch seventeenth century, but it is in the field of historical painting that he became well known. The painting Les premières nouvelles du désastre de la Grande Russie, exhibited at the Artistic Circle of Antwerp in 1872, is an example of this success. In response to the academic tastes of his time, he liked to paint farm animals and, more generally, the charms of rural life. At around this period, Évariste Carpentier befriended some of his classmates from the Academy, amongst which figure Emile Claus, Theodoor Verstraete, Frans Hens and Jan Van Beers. They met often at the exhibitions organised by the Artistic Circle of Antwerp. From 1874 to 1877, Émile Claus occupied a corner of Évariste Carpenter’s studio. In 1876, an old knee injury, caused in his youth, developed serious complications and threatened to require amputation. The pain prevented him from working. He left Antwerp to return to his hometown, where his sister provided him with care and treatment for the next three years. On the advice of his doctor, Carpentier left Kuurne in 1879 for the south of France, in order to speed up his recovery. The following year, on his return, he stopped in Paris, where he met his friend Jan Van Beers. He was persuaded to move to the French capital, where Van Beers would share his studio with him. Carpentier began to produce realistic paintings of Parisian bourgeoisie. In 1881, he was finally able to permanently get rid of his crutches and settled in the number 71 of the Boulevard de Clichy. He then followed his passion of historical painting. Scenes of the French Revolution, as well as the episodes of the War in the Vendée, became his main sources of inspiration. Having always had a predilection for dramatic episodes, Carpentier refined his composition skills in the search of better ways to depict the pathetic character of minor historical facts, such as those in Chouans en déroute (1883) and Madame Roland à la prison Sainte-Pélagie (1886). His paintings became highly appreciated by the public. This success constituted, however, an obstacle from his discovery of ‘’plein air’’ painting. In this regard, the year of 1884 marked a turning point in his career. Carpentier finally left the conventions of academism and found his true artistic voice. After discovering the works of Jules Bastien-Lepage, he begins to dedicate himself to ‘’plein air’’ painting, turning to nature through the Realism movement. He stayed for two seasons principally at Saint-Pierre-lès-Nemours, near the forest of Fontainebleau, but also at Le Tréport and at Saint-Malo. Although Évariste Carpentier only gave up his studio in Paris in 1892, he returned to Belgium in 1886. There, he witnessed the increasing popularity of impressionism among artists from Brussels, such as Les XX. During his long stay in France, he had already been exposed to impressionists, but he had been influenced to a greater extent by the naturalism of Jules Bastien-Lepage and Jules Breton. His initial outdoor paintings, which had been produced with darker, thicker strokes, gave way to a noticeably brighter palette and progressively lighter brushstrokes. Once established in Belgium, he continued to travel. From 1886 to 1896, he travelled through the Belgian and French countryside, seeking new landscapes. He frequently visited the Campine in Genk with his friends, the landscape artists Franz Courtens and Joseph Coosemans. He also visited Brittany, a region that had a particularly strong influence on him. In 1888, Évariste Carpentier married Jeanne Smaelen in Verviers. Five children were produced from this marriage. In 1890, the young couple moved to the Belgian Brabant, at Overijse, where Carpentier painted 'Washing Turnips', an important work that earned the artist a medal in Paris, and which was acquired by the MAMAC in Liège. In 1892, Carpentier moved again, this time to La Hulpe. During this period, the artist flourished and sought to find the truth of nature, according to his impressionist vision, parallel to that of his friend Emile Claus. He turned to delicate tones and atmospheric touches. Carpentier became one of the most active propagators of luminism. In January 1897, Carpentier applied for the position of professor of painting at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Liège, which had been vacant since the death of Émile Delperée. While serious in his candidature, Carpentier had a disadvantage: he was not from Liège. This was a source of contention. Nevertheless, and despite the backlash from walloons, he was eventually given the position and moved to Mont Saint-Martin Street in Liège. He was 51 years old. In 1904, Carpentier succeeded Prosper Drion as the director of the Academy, a position which he held until 1910. In spite of the disputes caused by his promotion, and which hurt him deeply, he carried out his task with the same dedication. From 1905 he lived in Hors-château street, still in Liège. By becoming a professor, Évariste Carpentier helped reshape the evolution of Liège painting. He freed local painting from academic conventions, popularising the impressionist aesthetic. He taught many artists, some of whom did not try to imitate his style. Among the most well known of his students, and which were significantly influenced by his approach, were Armand Jamar, Albert Lemaître and José Wolff. Other Liège artists that passed through his class were Fernand Steven, Robert Crommelynck, Adrien Dupagne, Marcel Caron, Jean Donnay and Auguste Mambour. In addition, he provided guidance and advice to painters who did not attend his class, such as Xavier Wurth. The painter of the Ardennes, Richard Heintz, also benefitted from Carpentier’s encouragement. From 1906, Carpentier spent his summer holidays in Vieuxville, at a house called The abbey of Stavelot. Carpentier retired in 1919, and died in Liège on 12 September 1922, following a long illness.