Day 350 of Colourisation Project – April 22
Challenge: to publish daily a colourised photo that has some significance around the day of publication.
Henri La Fontaine was of a rare enlightened breed; a male champion of women at a time when the role of women in society was clearly delineated by oppressive Victorian values.
An idealist and a humanist, La Fontaine advocated fervently for peace, suffrage and women’s rights; and in 1890 along with his sister, Léonie La Fontaine also an ardent activist, he founded the Belgian League for the Rights of Women.
He was president of the Association for the Professional Education of Women and in 1901 wrote La Femme et le Barreau (Women and the Bar), expounding a progressive position on the place of women in the legal profession.
Born this day, 22 April 1854, in Brussels, Henri La Fontaine, held a doctorate in law and was a leading authority on international law. Dedicated to the international peace movement, he became involved in the International Peace Bureau, founded in 1882, and was influential in its efforts to bring about The Hague Peace Conferences of 1899 and 1907. From 1907 until his death in 1943, he served as president of the Bureau.
Widely regarded as the leader of the peace movement in Europe, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1913, in recognition of his contribution towards peace.
A member of the Socialist Party, he was elected to the Belgian Senate, where he served as vice chairman of the Senate from 1919 to 1932, taking a special interest in social policy and foreign affairs.
Henri La Fontaine died at home in Brussels of natural causes at the age of 89 in 1943, three years before women were granted the right to vote in Belgium.