Three works by Armand Funcken

These three works, by the Verviers artist Armand Funcken (1875-1940), are a reminder of scenes that marked the people of Verviers during the German occupation. Two of the canvases represent scenes of the provision of supplies, one in the Rue du Collège, in front of the former Pathé cinema, and the other, more unruly, at the Gare de l’Ouest. The third work shows the German occupiers settling into the buildings of the Harmonie. The characters were painted from real life and treated like real portraits. Funcken himself appears in two of the paintings: at the Gare de l’Ouest, with a painting under his arm, and in front of the Harmonie, where he is carrying pots of paint. Acquired by the Summa Villa Fund, the three paintings will be exhibited in the Hôtel de Biolley. This emblematic building in Verviers will be the home for the Beaux-Arts collection once restoration work is finished (foreseen for 2017-2018). The Hôtel de Biolley is one of the most impressive buildings in Verviers and bears witness to the town’s economic importance in the 19th century. It was here, in 1853, that the official meeting took place between the future King Leopold II and his fiancée Marie-Henriette. The Summa Villa Fund, managed by the King Baudouin Foundation, has as its objective to safeguard the Hôtel de Biolley and perpetuate for future generations significant moveable Verviers heritage dating from the 18th and 19th centuries.