Andre Cluysenaar was born in Brussels in 1872 the son of the painter Alfred Cluysenaar. As a young man he took instruction from his father but initially decided to pursue a career as a sculptor. He established a studio of sculpture in 1897 but for five years struggled to get his work exhibited. In 1902 he abandoned this work for oil painting and immediately was gaining critical praise. He frequently chose to paint allegorical and historical subjects but also included still-lifes and landscapes in his oeuvre. At the outbreak of World War I, Cluysenaar left Belgium for England and for the duration of the war lived in London. Whilst there he became a respected painter of portraits and took commissions from a number of prominent patrons including Britain’s Prime Minister of the time, Herbert Asquith (this portrait is now hanging in the National Portrait Gallery). Returning to Belgium in 1918, Cluysenaar concentrated on his figurative work although these later pieces rarely reached the artistic heights of his earlier paintings. Andre Cluysenaar died in Brussels in 1939. His paintings can be seen today in London, (National Portrait Gallery), Paris (Musee de Luxembourg), Brussels and Ghent.