Ronny Van De Velde
His well-to-do family came from Germany and lived in Antwerp. Schmalzigaug travelled a lot from his age of 16. In 1905-1906 he made a grand tour of Italy, where he was especially impressed and influenced by Venice.
Returning to Antwerp he became a secretary to the art society of Kunst van Heden/L’Art Contemporain, and worked on the organisation of international exhibitons. Between 1910 and1912 he lived mainly in Paris. There he had the opportunity to see the exhibition of Italian futurists in 1912 and decided to move to Italy under the impressions of it.
His time in Italy between 1912 and 1914 was the happiest and most active part of his life and art. In 1914 he took part on the international exhibition of futurists in Rome. His style developed towards the abstract.
In 1914 he returned to Antwerp. He was declared unfit for military service on health grounds. After the start of the Great War he moved to The Hague in neutral Netherlands.
He felt lonely in the isolated country, he longed after the sunny Venice and the whirring international life of artists.
In his art he returned to the figurative painting, but his works from this period did not reach the previous level. He fell into depression and committed suicide.
Michael Palmer British art historian has written about him, that Schmalzigaug has not received great acknowledgement in his life neither in Belgium, nor internationally, but in spite of this he belonged to the most original and most talented modern Belgian artists of his time