A recipient of numerous decorations from France, Belgium, Portugal and Germany where his works were widely exhibited, Verboeckhoven established himself as a master of a rediscovered genre which had found its roots in the art of the 17th century masters Paulus Potter and Albert Cuyp. Verboeckhoven began his studies as a sculptor in his father's studio but moved on to the Academy of Ghent where he worked under Albert Voituron and Balthazar Ommeganck and soon excelled at animal paintings. He painted meticulously and executed many preliminary studies of his subjects and, although the animal is of primary importance in Verboeckhoven's work, all elements represented in his compositions are carefully placed, creating an overall image of romantic appeal.
A contemporary review published in La Renaissance declares of this remarkable artist; 'One man whose success has reached its peak is Mr Verboeckhoven. Yet he works with the ardour of a young man who has yet to build up his reputation and make his fortune. There is perhaps no artist gifted with a more marvellous facility of execution than Mr Verboeckhoven' (La Renaissance, 1845, p. 7, quoted in P. & V. Berko, Eugène Verboeckhoven, Brussels, 1981, p. 90). 'We know only too well the infinite skill with which this artist is able to depict animals, showing their character, physiognomy and gait. Above all, it is his sheep, donkeys and roe deer that have become the favourites af art lovers. There is nothing gentler than his sheep, nothing lighter than his deer. As for his drawing, M. Verboeckhoven is perhaps the most conscientious painter there is. He often models his four-legged figures in clay before pencilling them onto his canvas, to be more certain of the anatomical accuracy and the movement he wants to express. All his works are full of the most scrupulous study' (La Renaissance, 1839, p. 73, quoted in P. & V. Berko, op. cit., p. 65).