Dr. Lydia M.A. Schoonbaert passed away on 5 February 2019. She was Chief Curator of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp from 1984 to 1995.
Lydia Schoonbaert studied art history at the Ghent University and wrote a master's thesis on the Medici cycle by Rubens for professor Roger-A. d'Hulst. Shortly after, in 1966, she gets to work as a scientific collaborator at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp. Walther Vanbeselaere, who was Chief Curator at that time, shared a deep interest with Lydia Schoonbaert in the work of the controversial artist Albert Servaes. Schoonbaert published on Albert Servaes and on religious art.
However, her most important art-historical achievement is the study of Ensor drawings in the collection of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp. It opened the door to more profound research of Ensor's creative process.