A Palette full of passion.
Who is Gilbert Declercq?
Gilbert Declercq's biography


A PDF download of the biography of Gilbert Declercq you can find here


Gilbert Declercq was born in Ghent / Zwijnaarde (Belgium) on October 24, 1946.



He studied "Decorative Arts and Animation" (directed by Raoul Servais) and 'Interior Design' at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent. During the same period he also attended the professional illustration course "Famous Artists Schools".
During his career he attended specialized workshops including '' Watercolour ' in 1980 at the' Schule des Sehens', founded by Oskar  Kokoschka in Salzburg  




After graduating in 1970 he started his freelance career as a painter, illustrator and comic book artist. He made the animated cartoon "No, thank you" (distributed by Progrès films), and also worked part-time with comic book artist Eddy Ryssack.




His illustrations are included in several magazines, while he was studying, in ONS VOLKSKE ,MIMOSA, LIBELLE-ROSITA , HET RIJK DER VROUW and later in PANORAMA , READERS’ DIGEST, TOURNESOL,TOP, ZONNELAND ( Goede Pers- Abdij Averbode ), KIJK ( the Netherlands),   SNOECK-DUCAJU  and many more. He illustrated numerous SCHOOL, e.g. for publishers
He illustrated numerous textbooks, e.g. for publishers   DIE KEURE, VAN IN, PELCKMANS, NOVUM, PLANTYN,  e.a.




He also publishes COMICS (usually based on his own own scenario) in newspapers such as Het Volk, Le Soir, Gazet Van Antwerpen, in the comic magazines Ohee, Eppo, Tintin (Tintin), Spirou, Tina, with Standaard Uitgeverij and Elsevier ...

Several of his comics were published as albums, including the series 'RUD HART’ (a pilots’ comic / Uitg. De Vlijt, 't Mannekensblad and ed. Bonte ) and " JODY BARTON' (Ed. Lombard.); "TERRY TROM (Humorous genre with a serious note about poaching in Africa, ed. Bonte); the humorous ‘historic’ adventures ‘ DEVOON EN CARBOON’ " (Ed. Bonte), as well as several comics situated against a historical background, such as ‘ DE SLAG DER GULDEN SPOREN’ (published by Snoeck-Ducaju.); ‘A SUITCASE PACKED WITH HOPE’ (Dutch and English versions, National Maritime Museum of Antwerp) on the subject of emigration to the US); an adapted version was also published in German and English by Greflinger. ‘DE WERELD IN BRAND GESCHOTEN ’ on the cause and first months of World War I (ed. Bonte.). "HET BEDREIGDE EVENWICHT" (Publisher die Keure, scenario Bert De Craene) is a fictional story with the historical reality of the Cold War as a background.  

Declercq also created a COMIC-NOVEL, viz. OLIVER TWIST (Standaard Uitgeverij). He also realized on a comic strip, based on his own scenario, about the life of W.A. Mozart, commissioned by Standaard Uitgeverij.

Not only in his comics but also in his illustrations did Declercq portray many historical subjects, from antiquity to the present day.




In 1965 Gilbert Declercq co-founded the art group 'Spectrum' in Ghent / Zwijnaarde. That art society celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015.


He was often asked to teach as a freelancer. In the 90’s he taught a watercolor course at the adult education centre ‘VLIED’ in Ghent. He was invited by VTB (Flemish Tourist Association)  to give a drawing and painting course in Austria in the year 1981, etc. He regularly contributes in the journal FREUDE AM ZEICHNEN 'and' FREUDE AM MAHLEN’ intended  for the German-speaking countries and "DESSIN PASSION" for French-speaking countries, both published by KIM VERLAG in FREIBURG.


His paintings are regularly exhibited in Belgium (Galerie Vyncke-Van Eyck, Museum Leon Desmet-, the Belgium Senate, Nationaal Scheepvaartmuseum (huidig MAS), in Austria (Wien, Innsbruck, Dornbirn), England (Mall Galleries in London), USA (Society of Illustrators, New York) ;  MYSTIC ,The Maritime Museum in Mystic Seaport),  in Italy ( Pinacoteca nazionale dell’ Acquarello, Albignasego ), in the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg, e.a.

A large permanent exhibition on emigration from Hamburg to the US was opened in 2002 in Hamburg at the Museum Ship "CAP SAN DIEGO", based on the work of Declercq. At the occasion of this exhibition he was interviewed on television by the NDR.

Part of this work was also exhibited at Ellis Island in New York (Immigration Museum) where the English version of the comic ‘Enzi’ was also offered for sale.




Declercq won various national en international AWARDS for his water colours (in  Brussels in 1974 prize of the ‘ Conseil Européen d’Art et Esthétique’ ( C.E.A.E); ‘Les Arts en Europe ‘ organized by   ‘Association Royale des Artistes Professionels de Belgique ‘ ( ARAPB); in 1979 prize for Aquarelle in Antwerp; in 1980 with The International Artists in Watercolour Competition, among others judged by The Royal Watercolour Society in London); in the 90’s he was selected for the ‘Internationale Triënale voor Aquarelkunst’, organized by the European Aquarelinstituut and many others .




His work was purchased, among others, by the art collection of the Belgium senate, the City of Bruges, the city of Innsbruck (Austria), Nationaal Instituut voor de Zeevisserij, National Maritime Museum (currently MAS), the Pinacoteca Nazionale dell 'Acquarello' in ALBIGNASEGO (Italy), the Society of Illustrators in New York, …




In 1984 Gilbert Declercq was accepted as artist-member of the American association for illustrators: Society of Illustrators (New York); until now he is the only Belgian member of this prestigious professional association.


Some famous clients: Greenpeace, Goodplanet,WWF, Märklin, Reader’s Digest, Hamburg-Mannheimer Versicherung, DaimlerChrysler, Dai-Nippon (Japan), Tyrolia Verlag (Austria), KIM-verlag (Germany), Praalstoet der Gouden Boom 2007 (Bruges, Belgium), Gentse Floraliën (Historische Stoet 2008); publisher Die Keure (Bruges, Belgium).


Declercq was also active in the sector of 'APPLIED ARTS ". He created costumes for the ‘Praalstoet de Gouden Boom’  in Bruges; he also created 10 floats for the ‘Historische stoet van de Gentse Floraliën’, numerous designs for clothing, and merchandising for Greenpeace and others.
He also created several POSTERS, for example for the opening of the 1995 renewed MÄRKLIN Museum in Göppingen (Germany); the relevant design was also used in a publication of a limited edition of a miniature railway carriage .


  • “Gilbert Declercq, een passioneel palet”, (monograph, ed. Lannoo)

  • “Het Beeldverhaal in Vlaanderen” (Danny de Laet)

  • “De Zevende kunst voorbij” (Danny De Laet en Yves Varende”

  • “Wordt Vervolgd” (Evelien en Kees Kousemaker)

  • “Arto”

  • “Benezit”

  • “Dictionnaire de la Bande Dessinée (Henri Filippini, Edit. Bordas, Paris 1989)  .



In newspapers:  De Standaard, Het Laatste Nieuws, Gazet Van Antwerpen, Het Volk.
Interviews in magazines: Kuifje, Hello BD, Top, Clumzy, Comic Forum (Austria), Brabant strip magazine 121, Stripnieuws september 2007




  • “De wereld van de strips in originelen” (De Loketten, Vlaams Parlement 2013).



  • “Belgisch Centrum van het Beeldverhaal” (BrusselS)

  • “ MAS” ( Nationaal Scheepvaartmuseum) (Antwerp)

  • “ Museum voor Schone Kunsten (MSK) (Ghent)

  • “Rijksinstituut voor de Zeevisserij” (ILVO) (Ostende)

  • “Museum O.L.V. Ter Potterie” (Bruges)

  • City of Innsbruck ( Austria)

  • “Society of Illustrators” (New York, USA )

  • Pinacoteca Nazionale dell’ Acquarello  (  Albignasego , Italy)

  • In private collections worldwide (USA, New–Zeeland, Austria, France, Germany, Unitted Kingdom, etc…



  • Gilbert Declercq participated in the programme “De Strip Hertekend” (VRT-Canvas 2008)

  • German Television (NDR) at the occasion of the exhibition “Ein Koffer voller Hoffnung” in the museum ship Cap San Diego in Hamburg in 2003.