The first descendant of this famous Bruges sculptor generation was born in 1839 in Bruges. He was named Petrus (later on Pieter) De Wispelaere. At the age of 17 he was already registered as “ouvrier sculpteur”. In 1865 he settles as a sculptor and establishes an enterprise where four generations will follow and produce magnificent sculptures. He makes sculptures in plaster, wood and in stone, and later on – together with his sons- in marble and bronze. In 1881 he works for the recently established association for the new seaport of Bruges a plaster scale model showing how the new port would look. He realizes this model following the plan and leadership of August De Maere. The scale model is exhibited during the big “Industry Exhibition of West-Flanders” in the market halls of the Bruges Belfry. Over 30.000 people come to admire it.
Together with the Bruges sculptors Goossens and Fonteyne in 1884 the float for the cavalcade in honor of the beatification by the Catholic church of Charles the Good, Count of Flanders from 1119 to 1127.
Following the Bruges architect Delacenserie’s design, he realizes the monumental stone chimney for the Gothic hall of the Bruges town hall between 1895 and 1899.
Together with the famous Bruges sculptor Hendrick Pickery, he works on the “The Brugse Vrije” on the Bruges Burg square. Meanwhile, his sons, have mastered the craft. They help their father in the enterprise situated in the centre of Bruges, in a street called ‘Westmeers’. Together with their father and later on as “master sculptors”, the Dewispelaere family realizes a large number of religious and civilian orders foreign countries as well the Saint-Joseph and the Saint-Augustine churches in New-York and several realizations in Boston, Toronto and New Jersey. Other works can be found in Aberdeen, Preston, Wimbledon, Kent, Carlow (Ireland) and, among many others, in Italy and Switzerland. In 1906 a spectacular, unique altarpiece was realized for the Anglican Chapel “Saint-Michael and All Angels” in the little Swiss town Caux (near Montreux). This retable is sculpted in rare boxwood. It’s realized in 3-D relief. In a magnificent way the Crucifixion of Christ on the Golgotha and, below, The Last Supper are represented by about 40 figures.
At the end of the 20th century, the famous Bruges workshops closed their doors for the last time.
H:96cm W:36cm D:35cm
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