Victor Rousseau (Belgian, 1865 – 1954)
L’Adieu (The Farewell)
Victor Rousseau was born in Fenuy, Belgium on 16th December 1865. He started carving at the age of 11, working with his father on sculptures to decorate the law courts in Brussels. He later apprenticed under the sculptor Georges Houtstont, who also worked on the sculpture at the law courts under the supervision of the Belgian architect Henri Bayaert, famous for his work on façade of the Louvre and the Brussels Central Bank.
Rousseau entered L’Academie des Beaux Arts in Brussels when he was 14 years of age, returning to teach as Professeur de Sculpture from 1901-1919 and then again from 1931-35. His tutor and mentor was, the celebrated, Belgian sculptor Charles Van der Stappen.
One of his important works is the Anglo Belgian War memorial, situated on the Victoria Embankment of the river Thames. A gift from the Belgian Government in recognition of the assistance given to thousands of Belgian refugees in the first world war, of which Rousseau was one. Unveiled in 1920 by Lord Curzon and Princess Clementine of Belgium, the sculpture was accepted by Lord Curzon, on behalf of the British people. In response the British government commissioned a sculpture by Charles Sargeant Jagger, which was erected in Brussels in 1923.