Jules Merckaert was a painter of landscapes, marines and floral still-lifes born in Schaerbeek in 1872. A pupil at the prestigious Brussels Academy, he graduated in 1893 and that year first exhibited at the Salon de Bruxelles. The following few years were good to Merckaert and his work was soon garnering the attention of the critics of the day. He exhibited throughout Belgium and abroad and became particularly well known for his town scenes and harbor views. He was much influenced by the work of his contemporary, Victor Gilsoul and imitated Gilsoul’s predilection for a muted, almost melancholy tone within his work. In 1898 he, together with his friends August Oleffe, Jules Potvin and Medard Tytgat, founded the art group known as ‘Le Labeur’ in Brussels. This association lasted ten years during which time they embraced a number of emerging artists and help promote Belgian Impressionism to a wider audience.
After the turmoil of World War I, Jules Merckaert changed his style and abandoned his rather more somber earlier work in favor of a lighter palette. He particularly enjoyed painting views in the Marne River valley such as this particular example. He died in Brussels in 1924 at the age of fifty-two but his work can be seen today on public display at the Charlier Museum in Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, Belgium