Evert Louis van Muyden Biography

Evert Louis van Muyden




Evert Louis van Muyden was born to Swiss parents on July 18, 1853 in Albano, Lazio, Italy. He initially studied with his father, the painter Jacques Alfred van Muyden (1818–1898). Evert later lived and studied in Geneva, Switzerland at the Beaux-Arts and then under Carl Steffeck in Berlin, Germany and with Jean-Léon Gérôme at the Paris Beaux-Arts.

Van Muyden moved his studio to Rome between 1879 and 1884, concentrating on landscapes, and showing the clear influence of Corot. After 1885, he worked in Paris painting animals in the style of Antoine-Louis Barye. He virtually lived at the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris and the Zoologischer Garten in Basle, creating hundreds of drawings and engravings of plants and animals.

He was sought after as an illustrator of books, providing images for Champfleury's Contes choisis and Emil Frey's Die Kriegstaten der Schweizer. His engravings and book illustrations remained popular, overshadowing his occasional portraits and sculptures.

Van Muyden is best known for his etchings of big cats, often depicted in natural surroundings, doing what big cats do, hunt, stalk, fight and sleep. His work did not romanticize them nor treat them as only threats to humans.

Evert’s brother Charles Henri van Muyden (1860-1936) was also an artist, primarily a landscape and portrait painter. Evert Louis van Muyden died on February 27, 1922 in Orsay, France, a suburb of Paris.