The artists’ colony of Tervuren (Flanders, Belgium) was founded in de woods near Brussels around 1860, after the colony of Barbizon (France). Freeing themselves from academic restrictions, young Belgian artists like Camille Van Camp (who also worked in Domburg in The Netherlands), Joseph Coosemans, Jules Montigny and in particular Hippolyte Boulenger painted their surroundings en plein air. From Romanticism, the painters turned to an emotional Realism that was to have its impact on the development of Impressionism in Belgium.
Around 1875, a second generation followed in the footsteps of the first group to paint the same sites in Tervuren. Among these artists were Isidore Verheyden, Jean-Baptiste Degreef, Guillaume Vogels and Lucien Fank. Some 20 years later, a third generation emerged which consisted mainly of pupils of Joseph Coosemans, who had become a teacher in landscape painting at the Hoger Instituut voor Schone Kunsten (Higher Institute of Fine Arts) in Antwerp.
The colony existed – like so many of them – until the First World War.