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Alexander Schaepkens

Director Matthieu Hermans died in 1842. Two years later, Alexander Schaepkens, younger brother of Théodore, succeeded him in the role. Schaepkens went on to enjoy success in Amsterdam, running a secondary school course in drawing. He too enjoyed an education in Antwerp and Paris, was a highly regarded historian and created images of many historic monuments in Limburg, Liège and neighbouring Rhineland. All of which means he was welcomed with open arms. He was kept very busy setting up the Limburgs Geschied- en Oudheidkundig Genootschap (Limburg historical and archaeological society) and travelled frequently for historical research. His sketches and colour lithographs (the latter produced in Paris and Brussels) are still highly sought-after by collectors. However, the education inspectorate felt that his fascination with ancient history was taking up too much of his professional time. A visit by the inspectorate in the mid-1850s unearthed a number of issues, including a very slapdash student administration system. This lead to his honourable dismissal. In his latter years, Alexander tried in vain to restore his reputation by selling paintings to the Municipality, which he only succeeded in doing at the end of his life, probably thanks to the intervention of Victor de Stuers.

Maastricht Institute of Arts