PhotoLexicon, Volume 11, nr. 23 (April 1994) (en)

Robert Severin

Sjaak Boone

Tineke de Ruiter


From 1860 to 1875, Robert Severin ran a portrait photography studio in The Hague. His clientele comprised primarily members of the well-to-do middle class and the Dutch nobility. Severin photographed the Dutch king William III and took photos of a Japanese legation visiting the Netherlands. As a portrait photographer, Severin was international in his orientation and befriended with Nadar and Louis Ghémar.




Robert Heinrich Wilhelm (Robert) Severin is born on February 13th in Dusseldorf, Germany, as the son of Wilhelm Severin (birth Eschweiler, Germany, June 15th 1809–death Dusseldorf, April 28th1888), who later becomes a court photographer.


Robert Severin and the French lithographer Louis Joseph (Louis) Ghémar (birth Lannoy, Belgium, 1819–death Brussels, Belgium,May 11 th 1873) together establish a studio for portrait photography in Antwerp, under the company name of ‘Etablissement artistique Ghémar et Severin’ (‘Artistic Establishment’). The studio is located at Hopland 1474 (1474 Rue Houblonnière).


In August 1855, Ghémar and Severin participate in the exhibition Le Cercle Artistique (‘The Artistic Circle’).

From October 6 th 1855 to January 13 th 1856, Ghémar and Severin advertise in Le Précurseur.


The studio in Antwerp is transferred to the photographer Auguste de Bedts. An advertisement of February 1 st 1856 in Le Précurseur states Severin and Ghémar’s new address as 27 Rue de 1’Ecuyer in Brussels.

Severin and Ghémar register with the trade register of Brussels. They take part in an exhibition organised by the ‘Société pour encouragement et le développement des Arts Industriels en Belgique’ (‘Society for the Promotion and Development of the Industrial Arts in Belgium’) in Brussels. This exhibition leads to a favourable review in La Lumière on September 27 th , written by the magazine’s editor, Ernest Lacan. On December 7 th , they are awarded for their work shown at the exhibition.


Severin departs for The Hague, where he chooses the notary D.P.J. van Wissingh as his legal domicile.

On September 1 st 1860, Severin establishes his studio at Noordeinde 109 in The Hague. On September 24 th , Severin advertises his arrival in the Dagblad van Zuidholland en ‘s Gravenhage (‘Newspaper of South Holland and The Hague’).


At the start of the year, Severin makes several portraits of King William III. In May, the king bestows the title of ‘hoffotograaf’ (‘court photographer’) on Severin. On November 21 st , Severin weds Maria Sophia Euphemia Becker in Vreden (near Munster, Germany).


Starting on April 8 th 1862, Severin has a German assistant, Hendrick Karel (Carl) Junker (Pempelfort, Germany, March 13 th 1845–The Hague,August 11 th 1901). Severin takes portraits of members of a Japanese embassy visiting Europe.

On August 25 th , Severin’s first child is born, Wilhelm Peter Robert. Witnesses present at the child’s official birth registration are J.W. Holtrop, librarian of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (‘Royal Library’), and his brother-in-law, the deputy-librarian M.F.A.G. Campbell.


On December 20 th , Severin’s second son is born, Carl-Maria Frederik Severin. Holtrop and Campbell again serve as witnesses at the official birth registration.


On October 11 th , a third son is born, Robert Eduard Walther Severin. Holtrop and Campbell again serve as the official witnesses.


On February 19 th , Severin becomes a Knight in the Order of the Oak Crown by royal decree.


On May 11 th , Severin’s former business partner, Louis Ghémar, dies.


OnNovember 30th, Severin’s daughter is born, Maria Albertina Francisca Severin. The birth is officially registered the next day. The witnesses are M.F.A.G. Campbell, who now holds the position of librarian of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, and the publisher Martinus Nijhoff.


The house at Noordeinde 109 is sold, but the business remains registered under Robert Severin’s name. OnOctober 4 th , the Severin family is deregistered from the Hague population register, based on their departure to Hamburg, Germany. In an advertisement in the Dagblad van Zuidholland en ‘s Gravenhage, Severin states that his negatives are available for reprints at J.L. De la Vieter & Comp. As of October 14 th 1875, Severin is officially listed in the Hamburg city register as residing at the address Jungfernstieg 14. Severin gets infected with typhus and has to spend three months in hospital. His wife is robbed during this time and the family falls destitute.


According to the Hamburg population register, the Severin family leaves the city in 1876.


In July, Severin is asked to work in the former studio of Ghémar in Brussels. He departs for Belgium from Hamburg.

From September 11th, he resides at 22 Rue Berkmans in Saint-Gilles (Brussels). The population register states that Severin’s wife and three children (Carl-Maria’s name is absent) have arrived in Saint-Gilles from The Hague.

Severin stays at Ghémar’s studio only for several months. In a letter datedDecember 19 th 1877, Severin asks Nadar if there is work for him at his studio or that of a potential colleague.


According to the population register of Saint-Gilles, the Severin family resides at Rue Fonsny 16/2 in Saint-Gilles as of April 27th.


On September 18th 1879, the Severin family leaves Saint-Gilles and departs for Bremen, Germany.


In the years 1880-’82, Severin is listed as a photographer in the Bremen city address book: first at the address Hafen 58, later at Taubenstrasse 14.

From 1883 to 1894, only Severin’s wife’s name is still listed in the Bremen address book. No further information is available regarding Robert Severin.


Robert Severin is likely to have been taught the basics of photography by his father, Wilhelm Severin. Wilhelm was a court photographer with a studio on the Steinweg 271 in Dusseldorf. By the age of fifteen, Robert had mastered the profession to such a degree that he was able to start working on his own in Antwerp, Belgium.

Starting in 1854, Severin worked as the business partner of Louis Ghémar. Their meeting is likely to have been arranged by Severin’s father. In a small book published in 1868 in Paris, entitled Mon Voyage en Suisse. Impressions d’un Photographe (‘My Trip in Switzerland. Impressions of a Photographer’), Ghémar speaks of ‘Un de mes anciens amis, le père Severin, confrère (…)’ (‘One of my old friends, the father of Severin, fellow colleague’). Ghémar, who originated from northern France, began his career as a lithographer and had worked as a caricaturist for the Brussels edition of the Parisian magazine Le Charivari around 1838.

At their studio, Severin and Ghémar produced portraits and reproductions. They also made cityscapes. Severin was probably responsible for all of the photography-related tasks, Ghémar for the artistic aspects. Severin’s shots were retouched and colourised by Ghémar. OnFebruary 23 rd 1855, an article on Ghémar’s work was published in Le Précurseur, under the title of ‘Le Portrait et la Photographie. L. Ghémar’. The journalist Armand Challemel-Lacour described the studio as ‘(…) a studio of modest dimensions, but literally strewn with brilliant works of art and beautiful portraits (…)’. The journalist predicted that ‘(…) photography and art would reconcile with each other; an artist from Antwerp would promote this reconciliation.’

From October 1855 to January 1856, the Antwerp newspaper Le Précurseur featured advertisements of the ‘Etablissement photographique Ghémar et Severin’ (‘Photographic Establishment’) almost on a daily basis. There is likely to have been substantial competition and, for this reason, the two business partners were obliged to relocate their business. In early 1856, the studio in Antwerp was sold to the photographer Auguste de Bedts, with Ghémar and Severin subsequently departing for Brussels.

Starting in 1856, the two men were listed at the address 27 Rue de 1’Ecuyer (Schildknaapstraat 27) as business partners in the Brussels trade register. Like King Leopold I, Ghémar was a member of the freemasons. Through his contacts, the studio built a clientele that comprised prominent citizens of Brussels as well as members of the Belgian royal family.

On August 23 rd 1856, Ghémar and Severin showed their work at the (industrial art) exhibition organised by the ‘Société pour 1’encouragement et le développement des Arts Industriels en Belgique’ (‘Society for the Promotion and Development of the Industrial Arts in Belgium’) in Brussels.

In the magazine La Lumière of September 27th 1856, the editor Ernest Lacan commented on the two men’s work at this exhibition: ‘Through their collaboration, the gentlemen Ghémar and Severin are only capable of bringing forth masterpieces. Indeed, one is a talented painter, the other a skilled photographer. Ghémar has a flowing brushstroke with a light touch. His aim is not to cover the photographic print, but to limit himself to a gleam here, a colour there, by which a pleasing picture with warm, true-to-life colours ultimately emerges. (…) We will not be able to describe all of the portraits of Mr. Ghémar and Mr. Severin. We will make an exception for the charming women’s portraits, which have not been retouched. They are posed in a flattering manner, have a beautiful composition and an artistic appearance. By varying the postures, the artists have achieved very beautiful effects. We were particularly charmed by their trois quart perdus [‘three-fourths missing’] and their profiles, poses that we would like to see more frequently used by our portraitists.’

Other reviews likewise affirm the work of Ghémar and Severin was greatly admired by their contemporaries. Even during their stay in Antwerp, a description of the studio was featured in a review in Het Handelsblad van Antwerpen on 7 August 1855, based on the exhibition Le Cercle Artistique (‘The Artistic Circle’): ‘(…) one sees portraits in ten large frames: views taken in and around our city; reproductions of drawings, paintings, of busts, etc.’ The reviewer was particularly impressed by ‘(…) the views of the groote Harmonie, of the Zoo, taken in the spring; further the views of the houses on the Burgtplein, on the Steen, (…) portraits of distinguished ladies of our city and a gallery of portraits of our most prominent artists.’

The portraits were discussed in praiseworthy terms: ‘What one criticises most about the daguerreotyped products is an unpleasant severity, a stiffness and heaviness, which not uncommonly turns them into veritable caricatures. This great defect, this flaw, has been surmounted primarily by Mr. Ghémar and Mr. Severin. Their photographed portraits are not only true and natural, lively, animated: they are also still soft and round, pleasing, to such an extent, that virtually no single trace of severity can be observed in them.’

In 1860, Robert Severin announced the opening of his studio in The Hague with an advertisement in the Dagblad van Zuidholland en ‘s Gravenhage (‘Newspaper of South Holland and The Hague’): ‘R. Severin van Dusseldorp [‘Dusseldorf’], Photographer of various Courts, has the honour to announce that he has opened his Photographic Studio here, while at the same time he hereby invites the venerated Public to honour the Exhibition of his Portraits with a visit. He produces Portraits in all dimensions, from the smallest up to seven feet high (Natural size); Cartes-de-visite, Medallions, Reproductions of Paintings, Daguerreotypes, etc. ‘s Gravenhage [The Hague], 24 September 1860. Noordeinde, No. 109.’

Why Severin’s collaboration with Ghémar came to an end, thus marking his subsequent departure to The Hague, remains uncertain. Severin continued working from his studio on the Noordeinde in The Hague for the next fifteen years, always staying in contact with his former partner Ghémar. To what extent the two men collaborated together after 1860 is also unclear.

An article in the Algemeene Konst- en Letterbode of May 18th 1861 voices considerable praise for Robert Severin’s ‘Albumverzameling’ (‘Album Collection’) comprising more than 1,000 individuals—'(…) the most prominent Gentlemen and Ladies of the Residency (…)’. In less than a year, Severin had apparently managed to draw numerous clients from the highest circles of The Hague to his studio. The article emphatically states that the portraits were available to no one other than the individuals portrayed. Only one copy was kept in the ‘Album van het Etablissement’ (‘Album of the Establishment’). According to the article’s author, it was above all Severin’s portraits of women that distinguished themselves: ‘(…) in the most agreeable manner, and consequently his studio is therefore highly favoured by the fair sex.’

Severin’s clients included many prominent figures of the conservative-liberal political party . He took portraits of Minister Thorbecke and virtually every member of the conservative-liberal party, the so-called ‘Oost-Indische Club’ (‘East Indies Club’). The photos were probably taken around the time of the Scheldt Treaty in July 1863. At this time, Ghémar was commissioned to photograph both the Belgian and Dutch delegations. M.H. Godefroi, a member of the ‘Tweede Kamer’ (the Dutch House of Representatives), asked that both Severin and Ghémar take his photograph. Severin also photographed writers: a portrait of the philanthropist J. Kneppelhout (pseudonym ‘Klikspaan’) exists, as well as various portraits of the free-thinker Eduard Douwes Dekker (pseudonym ‘Multatuli’).

Severin’s contacts with Jan Willem Holtrop (1806-1870) and Marinus Frederik Andries Gerardus Campbell (1819-1890), librarians at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (‘Royal Library’) and witnesses to the birth of his three eldest children, affirm that he moved in the highest social circles.

Upon his arrival to The Hague, Severin described himself as a ‘Photographer of various courts’. In Brussels, Ghémar and Severin had obtained the right to photograph members of the Belgian royal family fairly quickly. Furthermore, Severin had likely adopted the title of ‘HofPhotograph’ (‘Court Photographer’), which his father Willem Severin had been authorised to use in Dusseldorf. In early 1861, Robert Severin took several photos of the Dutch king, William III. On April 18 th 1861, he approached the king with a request for permission to bear the title of court photographer. OnMay 3 rd 1861, Major-General J.M. Graaf van Lijnden, the king’s adjutant, asked the president of the ‘Court Committee’ to grant this request immediately. That very same day, a request was sent to the mayor and city council members of The Hague for a document to be presented, thereby giving Severin the right to bear the royal coat of arms. From this point forward, Severin’s printed matter bore the title ‘Photographe de s.[a] M.[ajesté] Ie Roi’ (‘Photographer of H.[is] M.[ajesty] the King’). He was apparently likewise granted permission to publish the photo of the king taken earlier in the same year, because in May 1862 he advertised ‘(…) a good portrait, in carte-de-visite of H.M. the King of the Netherlands (…)’ in the Dagblad van Zuidholland en ‘s Gravenhage.

Severin also photographed other members of the royal house, including Queen Sophie. Around 1862, he took a portrait of her son, the young Prince Alexander. Prince Hendrik, a seafarer and the brother of William III, presented his carte-de-visite portrait—which Severin had taken circa 1865—as a gift to his fellow marine officers. The name Severin is also found on a carte-de-visite portrait of William III’s mother, Anna Paulowna. This photo, however, is in all likelihood a reproduction of a portrait taken by an unknown Russian photographer, produced around 1856 in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

In 1862, a Japanese legation made visits to a number of European capital cities. For their visit to the Netherlands, its members stayed in The Hague. Their presence drew significant attention. On June 30th and July 1 st , Severin took portraits of every member of the legation, as well as the welcoming committee. He is likely to have received this commission from the committee’s chairman, Graaf van Lijnden, who had previously been involved in Severin’s becoming a court photographer. The shots were compiled in an album comprising forty-seven leafs, subsequently presented to King William III. In the July 8th 1862 issue of the Dagblad van Zuidholland en ‘s Gravenhage, Severin was already advertising ‘(…) the accurately appearing Portraits of the members of the Japanese Legation, in the form of Cartes-de-Visite and in groups in a larger format, produced by him from nature, are available at R. Severin, Photographer of the King.’ In September 1862, Ghémar organised the festivities surrounding the visit of the Japanese legation’s visit to Brussels. Nadar, who had just arrived back in Brussels following a trip to Great Britain, assisted him in this endeavour. Ghémar knew Nadar most likely from the period that both men worked as caricaturists for Le Charivari. Severin also knew Nadar. Nadar names both photographers in his biography Quand j’étais photographe (‘When I Was a Photographer’). He is also known to have taken several photos of the members of the Japanese legation at his studio in Paris.

As early as 1845, William Henry Fox Talbot had mentioned the reproduction of old manuscripts as a possible application of photography in the second volume of The Pencil of Nature, at Plate IX ‘Fac-Simile of an Old Printed Page’. An article in the Algemeene Konst- en Letterbode of January 12th 1861, however, stated that reproductions of old manuscripts made prior to this time were lacking in clarity. The magazine then drew the attention of its readers to the method applied by Camille Silvy, who had published an exact facsimile of the ‘Sforza manuscript’, with the purpose of ‘(…) investigating whether it could not be brought over to our country, and with us as well be applied to the publication of old manuscripts and to examples of incunabula.’

This article is certain to have been read with interest by J.W. Holtrop and M.F.A.G. Campbell, respectively the librarian and sub-librarian of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (‘Royal Library’) in The Hague. Both men were pioneers in the field of the academic study of incunabula. In the period 1854-1860, Campbell was also a staff employee of the Algemeene Konst- en Letterbode.

On August 24th 1865, Holtrop requested permission from the minister of Domestic Affairs with regards to realising a publication comprising the ‘(…) most beautiful and important miniatures (…)’ from the collection of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek and the Meermanno-Westreenianum Museum in The Hague. The text was to be written by Campbell, with Severin responsible for the photographic reproduction. Martinus Nijhoff was to publish the book. In his letter to the ministry, Holtrop refers to the reproduction of a miniature from one of the most important codices, which Severin had taken at the request of Dr. Förster, an art expert in Berlin. Förster wished to compare this miniature with works preserved in German museums. In other words, the photographic reproduction was not just to be used for purposes of the systematisation and accessibility of old manuscripts, but more specifically for its application in comparative art history. Förster was extremely satisfied with the result, ‘(…) thanks as well to an excellent copying device, which the said photographer has acquired these very days (…)’. Following Förster’s departure, Holtrop devised a plan to have other important manuscripts photographed. Permission was granted in a letter from the Ministry of Domestic Affairs (5e afdeling Onderwijs, Kunsten en Wetenschappen, ‘5th Department, Education, Arts and Science’), dated September 2 nd 1865. In the Berlinische Zeitung of October 27 th 1865, Holtrop and Cambell’s plans were announced in connection with a lecture given by Dr. Förster. Also included was a description of Severin’s reproduction of a miniature depicting a scene of ‘The Last Judgement’. For reasons that are unknown, the project never came to fruition. What one does find mentioned in a Lijst der geschriften van Dr. M.F.A. G. Campbell (‘List of the Writings of Dr. M.F.A.G. Campbell’), published in 1941 by Nijhoff, is a manuscript in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek: Trésors de l’art du miniaturiste reproduits par la photographie d’après les plus beaux manuscrits de la Bibliothèque royale et de celle du Museum Meermanno-Westreenianum. Ouvrage publié, sous les auspices de M.J. W. Holtrop,…par M.F.A. G. Campbell. Miniatures et bordures reproduites par la photographie d’après les plus beaux manuscrits par R. Severin. (‘Treasures of Art of the Miniaturist reproduced with photography after the most beautiful manuscripts of the Royal Library and the Museum Meermanno-Westreenianum. Works published, under the auspices of M.J.W. Holtrop, … by M.F.A.G. Campbell. Miniatures and margins reproduced with photography after the most beautiful manuscripts by R. Severin’.) This manuscript, however, consists of only six folio pages (without reproductions). According to this manuscript, twenty editions of six plates at a price of six, eight or ten guilders per edition were to be published. The edition was to total 200 copies. The reproductions were to be produced with the chromolithographic process, applied by Lemercier in Paris. This printing company had acquired the rights to the invention devised by Alphonse Louis Poitevin.

By about 1870, the number of photographers, i.e. the competition, had increased dramatically. This perhaps explains why Severin was unable to keep his studio up and running. He might also have been faced with financial difficulties due to the cancellation of the project for the Koninklijke Bibliotheek. In 1875, Severin was forced to shut down his establishment in The Hague. In October of the same year, he set up business in Hamburg, Germany. Yet there he faced even greater adversity. In December 1877, Severin wrote about these events in a dramatic letter to Nadar, today preserved at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris: ‘Accidents in my family and financial losses, by which I no longer had any funds nor the possibility of holding onto the social standing I had acquired, have obliged me to leave The Hague. After having sold my house (not the business), still keeping the titles of ‘Photographer of the King and the Queen’ and my award, I departed to Hamburg, purchasing a relatively well-known business. Scarcely having settled, I fell ill with the typhus, which left me in the hospital for three months. During this time, my wife was robbed, so that there was nothing remaining for us once we had paid everything.’

In his letter to Nadar, Severin went on to say that, following his illness, the family had been separated for a year living with relatives. According to the population register of Hamburg, Severin and his family left Hamburg in 1876. His wife is likely to have returned to The Hague with the children, while Severin remained in Hamburg. In the land register of The Hague, the sale of the house and garden on the Noordeinde to Lambertus Nicolas Leijendecker was recorded in the fiscal year 1877.

In the aforementioned letter, Severin then wrote: ‘Because I was still too weak, I have had to turn down positions that were offered, in anticipation of my recovery. In July, I received a letter inviting me to come to Brussels to [work for] Ghémar frères [Ghémar Brothers], the business I established in 1856.’

On September 11th, the Severin family registered in Saint-Gilles (Brussels) at 22 Rue Berkmans. According to the population register, Severin arrived in the city from Hamburg (Jungfernstieg 14), while his wife had come from The Hague (Noordeinde 109), along with three (!) children. Business-wise, however, the move to Brussels proved to be unsuccessful. Severin describes this as follows: ‘I stayed there for several months, but under the current management, I had to forget building up a business that had fallen into such disarray following Ghémar’s death. The endless difficulties have made me ill and I would prefer to leave there.’ Severin subsequently asks for Nadar’s assistance in finding a position in his own studio or that of a colleague’s. In all likelihood, Nadar was unable to do anything for Severin, as the family remained in Brussels until 18 September 1879. He and his family travelled from there to Bremen, Germany. Severin was registered as a photographer in this city’s address book from 1880 to 1882. From 1883 on, Severin is no longer listed in the Bremen address books: only his wife’s name is found. There are no further notices concerning the photographer himself.

The technical quality of Severin’s photos is good. For those shots printed on albumen paper not yet subject to fading, his work is sharp and rich in contrast. Severin worked chiefly in the popular carte-de-visite format, but he also printed his shots in the cabinet card format or a format of circa 20×25 cm upon request. According to a review in the Le Précurseur of September 21 st 1856, Severin and Ghémar also made use of an enlarger: ‘Among the exhibited works of Mr. Ghémar and Mr. Severin, five large portraits are noticeable, which have been retouched with pastel paint. These portraits are produced by means of photographic enlargement through the assistance of an enlarging device, which most closely resembles the apparatus with which one projects glass lantern slide plates. Mr. Ghémar has introduced this method in Belgium and is the only person to work with it up to now. In any event, he managed to be the first to achieve results that are so reasonable, he dares to show his products in public.’

In Quand j’étais photographe, Nadar relates how Ghémar brought him into contact with the Belgian photographer and scientist Van Monckhoven, and how this person subsequently sent him, free-of-charge, an enlarging device with heliostats, which he himself had invented. Although Van Monkhoven’s device was not patented until 1863, Ghémar and Severin may very well have used it with their own enlarging method. Severin probably also made enlargements in The Hague. He advertised images in actual size. In an article in the Algemeene Konst- en Letterbode of 18 May 1861, he also makes mention of ‘(…) photographic portraits, in life-size busts (…)’.

Severin’s oeuvre, as it is preserved today, consists primarily of approximately 100 portraits on cartes-de-visite. This format became popular in the period following his arrival in The Hague. From the reviews, however, it becomes clear that Ghémar and Severin had acquired a degree of fame with their enlargements. In addition, during their period of collaboration in Antwerp and Brussels, they are certain to have produced cityscapes. These photos, however, can no longer be traced. It is not known whether Severin also produced topographic shots in The Hague. Severin’s portrait work was of a good and respectable quality. Most interesting is his surviving oeuvre, as it provides us with insight into the life of a photographer who moved in the highest social and cultural circles of Belgium and the Netherlands.


Primary bibliography

(Advertenties Etablissement photographique Ghémar et Severin), Le Précurseur oktober 6th 1855- januari 13th 1856.

(Advertentie) Le Précurseur February 1st 1856.

(Advertentie) Dagblad van Zuidholland en ‘s Gravenhage (September 25th 1860) 227, p. 4.

(Advertentie) Dagblad van Zuidholland en ‘s Gravenhage (May 12th/13th 1861) 111.

(Advertentie) Dagblad van Zuidholland en ‘s Gravenhage (November 22nd 1861) 276.

(Advertentie) Dagblad van Zuidholland en ‘s Gravenhage (May 9th 1862) 156, p. 4.

(Advertentie) Dagblad van Zuidholland en ‘s Gravenhage (July 5th 1862) 156, p. 4.

(Advertentie) Dagblad van Zuidholland en ‘s Gravenhage (Juli 8th 1862) 158.

(Advertentie) Dagblad van Zuidholland en ‘s Gravenhage (April 9th 1864) 84, p. 4.

(Advertentie) Dagblad van Zuidholland en ‘s Gravenhage (February 10th 1865) 35, p. 4.

(Advertentie) Dagblad van Zuidholland en ‘s Gravenhage (March 21st 1865) 68, p. 3-4.

(Advertentie) Dagblad van Zuidholland en ‘s Gravenhage ( April 2nd/3rd 1865) 79, p. 3.

(Advertentie) Dagblad van Zuidholland en ‘s Gravenhage (May 14th/15th1865) 114, p. 1-2.

(Advertentie) Dagblad van Zuidholland en ‘s Gravenhage (February 22nd 1869) 44, p. 4, bijblad p. 1.


images in:

L.J. van der Klooster (samenstelling), Oranje in beeld. Een familiealbum uit de 19de eeuw, Zaltbommel (Europese Bibliotheek) 1966, p. 72, 150, 152, 158, 175, 180, 192.

Claude Magelhaes, Nederlandse fotografie. De eerste honderd jaar, Utrecht/Antwerpen (Bruna & Zoon) 1969, afb. 38.

Jan Coppens (samenstelling), Een camera vol stilte. Nederland in het begin van de fotografie 1839-1875, Amsterdam (Meulenhoff) 1976, afb. 246, 249, 253.

KJ. Cath (voorw.), Herinneringen aan Japan 1850-1870. Foto’s en fotoalbums in Nederlands bezit, Den Haag (Staatsuitgeverij) 1987, p. 227-234.

Secondary bibliography

A.Ch.L. (= Armand Challemel-Lacour), Le portrait et la photographie. L. Ghémar, in Le Précurseur February 23rd 1855.

Author unknown, Tentoonstelling in den Cerkel, in Het Handelsblad van Antwerpen August 7th 1855.

Author unknown, Exposition des Arts Industriels a Bruxelles, in Le Précurseur (September 21st 1856) 263 (supplement).

Ernest Lacan, Exposition photographique de Bruxelles, in La Lumière 6 (1856) 38.

Ernest Lacan, Exposition photographique de Bruxelles, in La Lumière 6 (September 27th 1856) 39.

W., Photographische portretten, in Algemeene Kunst- en Letterbode (May 18th 1861) 20, p. 154.

Auteur onbekend, Berlin, in Berlinische Zeitung (October 27th 1865) 252, bijlage.

Auteur onbekend, Maandelijksch Overzigt, in Tijdschrift voor Photographie 2 (1865), p. 318-319.

Nadar, Souvenirs d’un Atelier de Photographie, in Paris-Photographe. Revue Mensuelle Illustrée 2 (November 30 th 1892) 11, p. 479.

Nadar, Quand j’étais photographe, Parijs (Flammarion) 1899, p. 226.

J.E.J. Geselschap, De fotografie te ‘s-Gravenhage (lijst van 19de-eeuwse fotografen in Den Haag), ongedateerde getypte lijst in Gemeentearchief Den Haag.

Gustave Abeels, Les pionniers de la photographie a Bruxelles, Zaltbommel (Bibliothèque Européenne) 1977, p. 8, 61, 63-64,89, 113.

H.M. Mensonides, Een nieuwe kunst in Den Haag; encyclopedisch overzicht van de eerste Haagse fotografen, in Die Haghe. Jaarboek 1977, p. 66, 68, 99, 104.

Ingeborg Th. Leijerzapf, Fotografie in Nederland 1839-1920, Den Haag (Staatsuitgeverij) 1978, p. 106.

Catalogus tent. People in camera 1839-1914, Londen (National Portrait Gallery) 1979, p. 15.

Jean Sagne, L’atelier du photographe (1840-1940), Parijs (Pressesdela Renaissance) 1984, p. 268-269.

Wilfried Vandevelde, Louis Ghémar frères, in Photohistorisch Tijdschrift 9 (1986) 1, p. 14-18.

Jan Coppens, Laurent Roosens en Karel van Deuren, “… door de enkele werking van het licht…”. Introductie en integratie van de fotografie in België en Nederland, 1839-1869, z.p. (Gemeentekrediet) 1989, p. 107-108, 124, 140, 199, 262-263.

M.J.H, van Rooijen-Buchwaldt, Portfolio/De eerste eeuw hoffotografie in Nederland: 1839-1940, in Maatstaf 40 (november/december 1992) 11/12, p. 68-96.

Georges Vercheval e.a., Pour une histoire de la photographie en Belgique. Essais critiques. Répertoire des photographes depuis 1839, Charleroi (Musée de la Photographie a Charleroi) 1993, p. 28, 265.


1856 award, Exposition photographique de Bruxelles (Exposition des Arts Industriels), Brussel. (Ghémar en Severin)


1855 (g) Antwerpen, Cercle Artistique (Ghémar en Severin).

1856 (g) Brussel, Exposition photographique de Bruxelles (Exposition des Arts Industriels) (Ghémar en Severin).

1969 (g) Den Bosch, Noord-Brabants Museum, Nederlandse fotografie. De eerste honderd jaar (rondreizende tentoonstelling).


Bremen, Staatsarchiv.

Brussel, Gemeente Sint-Gillis (Burgerlijke stand).

Den Haag, Gemeentearchief.

Den Haag, Koninklijk Huisarchief.

Hamburg, Staatsarchiv.

Leiden, Prentenkabinet, bibliotheek en documentatiebestand.

Parijs, Bibliothèque Nationale.

Utrecht, Steven Wachlin (unpublished index of photographers in the Netherlands born before 1880 based on research in the population registers


Amsterdam, Multatuli Museum.

Amsterdam, Rijksprentenkabinet.

Delft, Oranje-Nassau Museum.

Den Haag, Gemeentearchief.

Den Haag, Iconografisch Bureau.

Den Haag, Koninklijk Huisarchief.

Den Haag, Nederlands Letterkundig Museum en Documentatiecentrum.

Den Haag, Rijksdienst Beeldende Kunst.

Leiden, Prentenkabinet van de Rijksuniversiteit Leiden.

Nijmegen, Gemeentearchief.

Rotterdam, Museum voor Volkenkunde.