Rousseau, Jean-Baptiste
(1829-1891)
   Born in Marche on 5 August 1829, Jean-Baptiste Rousseau was educated at the Athenée in Brussels and the Université libre de Bruxelles. He studied painting at the Académie royale des Beaux-Arts, but it was as an art critic that he made his reputation. Together with an associate, he founded Diable à Bruxelles, a widely read journal on art and culture. Named an inspector of fine arts for the Ministry of the Interior in 1877, he worked vigorously to promote embellishment of the capital, especially encouraging sculptural adornment of urban spaces. His efforts included ensuring the decoration of the place du Petit Sablon. Secretary of the commission that organized the celebrations to mark Belgium's 50th anniversary of independence, Rousseau was the principal planner of events, which included an exhibition of Belgian art together with the official opening ceremonies held on 21 July 1880 at the Parc du Cinquantenaire. He died in Ixelles on 13 November 1891.

Historical Dictionary of Brussels. .

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