(b Vive-Saint-Eloi, Sept 27, 1849; d Astène, June 5, 1924).
Belgian painter. He had various menial jobs before the composer Peter Benoît persuaded his father to let him study at the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp. He was taught there by Nicaise De Keyser and Jacob Jacobs (1812–79) but found the atmosphere uncongenial and soon left. In 1879 he travelled around Spain and North Africa and in 1881 went to live with his sister at Waereghem. His painting of this period was influenced by Charles Verlat and depicted rural subjects, such as Cock Fight in Flanders (1882; Waereghem, Devos priv. col., see Lemonnier, p. 6).
In 1883 Claus settled in Astène and began to develop a style similar to that of Jules Bastien-Lepage with works such as Flax Harvest (1883; Brussels, Mus. A. Mod.). He spent the winters from 1889 to 1892 in Paris, where he became acquainted with Anders Zorn, Henri Le Sidaner and other artists. During this period he began to adopt the subject-matter and style of Impressionism, as shown in works such as ...