Isabelle de Borchgrave

Born (°1946) and lives in Belgium

Born in 1946 in Etterbeek, Isabelle de Borchgrave is a prominentBelgian artist and sculptor, best known for her colorful paintingsand intricately painted paper sculptures. De Borchgrave started herstudies age 14 at the Centre des Arts Décoratifs before graduatingfrom the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels. Soon aftergraduating, she set up her own studio focusing on fashion and interiordesign, the artist regularly using the fabrics she worked on as a canvasfor her art. A major turning point in the artist’s career came in 1994,when de Borchgrave began designing elaborate paper costumes.Combining her love of fashion, history and painting, she workedon four major collections in her now famous trompe-l’oeil. The firstcollection entitled ‘Papiers à la Mode’, a collaboration between theartist and Canadian costume designer Rita brown, covered 300 yearsof fashion history from Elizabeth I to Coco Chanel. As the collectiontravelled across the world from 1998 to 2008, the artist expanded thecollection, creating and adding more costumes from the wardrobesof Elizabeth I, Marie Antoinette, the Empress Eugenie, the consortof Napoleon III, or the Ottoman kaftans. From the Fashion Institutein New York and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, to theFlanders Fashion Institute in Antwerp and the Museum of FineArts in San Francisco, the travelling exhibition drew in hundreds ofthousands of museum-goers over a decade.The second collection,‘Mariano Fortuny’, delved into 19thCentury Venice with a particularfocus on elaborate patterns, finely pleated robes and preciousveils, damasks and silks. Then followed ‘I Medici’, a trompe-l’œilinstallation of famous Florentine figures in the ceremonial dressesof the Renaissance, with intricate gold braiding, pearls and velvet.Finally, ‘Ballets Russes’ where de Borchgrave paid tribute to SergeiDiaghilev, Pablo Picasso, Léon Bakst, and Henri Matisse, who alldesigned for the famous ballet company. Although now renownedfor her paper creations, Isabelle de Borchgrave never ceased paintingand sculpting. Alternating from canvas to paper, and paper to bronze,her colorful paintings and delicate sculptures have been shown in soloand group exhibitions in Belgium, Switzerland, France, Japan, Brazil,the U.K. and the U.S. from 1979 to this day. Isabelle de Borchgravehas also collaborated as a fashion and interior designer with the likesof Comme des Garçons, Christian Dior, Hermès, Villeroy & Boch,Pierre Frey or Ligne Blanche to name a few. The artist lives and worksin Brussels, Belgium. Isabelle de Borchgrave is represented by SpazioNobile since 2022

Featured in

Associated artworks

Featured in exhibition

Related news & events