PhotoLexicon, Volume 28, nr. 43 (February 2011) (en)

Jan Adriaan van Eijk

Anneke van Veen


Jan Adriaan van Eijk is today chiefly known as an organiser of exhibitions and the author of published articles on topics related to photography. Van Eijk was the driving force behind the Internationale Tentoonstellingen van Photographie en Heliographie (‘International Exhibitions of Photography and Heliography’), organised by the Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt (‘Association of Industry’) starting in 1855. But for approximately ten years, Van Eijk was also a practicing photographer. As the director/secretary of the Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt, he was active in disseminating knowledge on a broad range of technologies, including photography. Through his articles and translations, Van Eijk made the international literature accessible to a Dutch reading audience. Van Eijk’s oeuvre is small in size, but interesting because of his preference for the landscape and the cityscape, his notes on the processes he applied, and his experiments with the stereo daguerreotype.




Jan Adriaan van Eijk is born on 8 October in Amsterdam as the child of the manufacturer Willem Jacob van Eijk (Amstelveen, 1777) and his grandniece Anna van Eijk (Nieuwer-Amstel, 1782). On 24 November 1808, Jan is baptised at the Amstel Church in Amsterdam. An elder sister, Johanna Adriana, born in 1806, had previously passed away in December 1807 and was buried at the Nieuwezijds Chapel in Amsterdam.


On 17 May, Willem Jacob van Eijk dies in a freak accident. He is buried on 21 May at the Nieuwezijds Kapel in grave no. 319, where his first child is also buried. The family lives on the Overtoomseweg in the municipality of Nieuwer-Amstel. Van Eijk’s widow is pregnant with Wilhelmina Anna Jacoba van Eijk, born on 27 August in Amsterdam and baptised on 7 October at the Amstel Church.


Anna van Eijk remarries on 14 June in Warmond. Her groom, Theodoor Johan Bijleveld, ‘Hoogheemraad’ ( the highest authority of a ‘Dutch Water Board Council’) of Rhineland, is seven years her junior. From this marriage, five children are born between the years 1818 and 1823. The large family resides at the country estate ‘Wel-te-Vreden’ on the Herenweg in Warmond.


Jan Adriaan van Eijk attends boarding school, most likely in Middelburg, where he is a student at the Latin School, in preparation for a later university study.


On 20 April 1827, Van Eijk is enrolled as a law student at Leiden University. He applies to the ‘ontgroensenaat Amicitia’ (‘Induction Senate’) and is accepted into the corps fraternity of students attending Leiden University on 9 June. From 1828 to 1831, he resides at Breestraat, wijk 4, no. 228, near Obelt.


On 17 July, Van Eijk receives a domestic passport with the following description: 1 meter 68 tall; red hair, eyebrows and beard; colour: healthy; build: gaunt.


Van Eijk’s mother Anna van Eijk dies on 7 April and is buried at the Old Church in Warmond. When dividing up the inheritance, Van Eijk acts as the curator on behalf of his sister Wilhelmina Anna Jacoba and as the co-guardian of his five half-brothers and half-sisters. Van Eijk reports to the ‘dienst Vrijwillige Jagers’ (‘Voluntary Hunters Service’), formed on 13 November to fight against Belgian insurgents, but receives an honourable discharge from the Dutch Ministry of War.


Van Eijk receives his Ph.D. on 8 June magna cum laude as ‘meester in de beide rechten’ (‘master in both laws’), and is subsequently sworn in as a lawyer on 27 June before the Supreme Court of the Netherlands in The Hague.


On 2 November in Warmond, Jan Adriaan van Eijk weds Johanna Elisabeth Bunk (Amsterdam, 1806), daughter of Wijnand Bunk (1776-1846), rentier in Warmond, and Johanna Elisabeth Drever.


On the recommendation of his uncle, the merchant Felix Adriaan van Wijck, J.A. van Eyck is accepted as a member of the society ‘Doctrina et Amicitia’ in Amsterdam on 2 July, a reading society that brings together merchants, members of the judiciary, notaries, and civil servants. On 14 October, Van Eijk’s first child is born, Anna. The couple resides at Herengracht 33 (‘small number’).


After Anna, six more children are born into Van Eijk’s family, of which three die in the first six months. The children are buried at the Westerkerk Church in Amsterdam in grave number 71. Besides Anna, surviving children are Jan Adriaan Jr. (1837), Johanna Elisabeth (1839), and Wijnanda (1842). During these years, the family resides at the addresses Lauriergracht 51 (‘klein nummer’) and Prinsengracht 59, between the Vijzelstraat and the Reguliersgracht in Amsterdam.


On 29 December 1836, Van Eijk purchases a vinegar factory ‘De drie Bramen’ (‘The Three Blackberries’) from Martijn Christiaan Hendrik Hulman. Van Eijk establishes the factory on the corner of the Lijnbaansgracht and the Lauriergracht in Amsterdam. In the 1840s, he does business with Joannes ter Haar, who takes over the running of the factory alone and continues under the name of ‘Van Eijk, Ter Haar en Co.’ as of 1 February 1848.


On 6 January, Van Eijk is accepted as a member of the Afdeling Natuurkunde (‘Department of Physics’) of the Maatschappij Felix Meritis (‘Felix Meritis Society’), on the recommendation of G.A. van der Voort, sugar trader and supervisory board member of the association. At this time, Van Eijk lives on the Prinsengracht near the Noorderstraat.


During the winter season 1845/’46, Van Eijk stands in for the vacant lectorate in physics at Felix Meritis. Although initially on a temporary basis, it becomes a permanent position—despite his being a layman—a position he holds through the 1873/’74 season. In the season 1853/’54, an experiment is conducted at Felix Meritis involving the teaching of classes in physics, chemistry, and mechanical engineering to students of the Gymnasum (a Dutch prep or grammar school). Van Eijk teaches the classes in physics. From 1847 to 1880, he conducts meteorological observations from the Felix Meritis observatory. Van Eyck’s meteorological series are published, first in the newspaper Amsterdamsche Courant, and later as individual publications. Starting in 1866, his articles are published by the KMI (Koninklijk Meteorologisch Instituut, ‘Royal Meteorological Institute’). In 1855, Van Eijk receives an honorary membership at Felix Meritis, and in 1872 he is honoured for his twenty-five year lectorate. Van Eijk gives lectures at Felix Meritis until 1877.


Van Eijk teaches physics at various institutions in Amsterdam, as well at the ‘Inrigting voor Onderwijs voor Koophandel en Nijverheid’ (‘Institute of Education for Commerce and Industry’), opened in October 1846. He also lectures at the Museum van Nijverheid en Wetenschap (‘Museum of Industry and Science’), the later Polytechnisch Museum (‘Polytechnical Museum’). This institute was an initiative of the doctor and philanthropist Samuel Sarphati, who was also involved with the museum. In 1848, Van Eijk and Sarphati are both made honorary members of the Bataafsch Genootschap der Proefondervindelijke Wijsbegeerte (‘Batavian Society of Empirical Philosophy’). In this period, Van Eijk is offered membership in the ‘Provinciaal-Utrechtsch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen’ (‘Provincial Utrecht Society of Arts and Sciences’, 1851) and honorary memberships in ‘Doctrina et Amicitia’ (1852) and the ‘Natuurkundig Genootschap’ (‘Society of Physics’) in Wageningen (1860).


Van Eijk becomes increasingly involved in photography. In 1852, he is present when the French daguerreotypist Fortuné la Moile produces daguerreotypes by means of electric light at the Museum van Nijverheid en Wetenschap. Prior to 1850, Van Eijk is said to have made his first, unsuccessful, attempt to take a shot of the moon together with La Moile.


In 1852, Samuel Sarphati and several like-minded individuals establish the ‘Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt’ (‘Association of Industry’), with the aim of holding exhibitions in the areas of commerce, industry (‘nijverheid’ and ‘volksvlijt’), and agriculture. Van Eijk becomes the association’s ‘director-secretary’ and the editor of the magazine De Volksvlijt, founded in 1854, in which he publishes a virtually endless series of articles on technological innovation. Starting in 1853, Van Eijk holds the position of correspondent on behalf of the French magazine La Lumière, presumably based on his position as the association’s director-secretary.

Van Eijk enters a very close collaboration with the highly driven Sarphati, which lasts for years, with Van Eijk being the unseen force behind Sarphati’s numerous ground-breaking projects: the ‘NV Maatschappij voor Meel- en Broodfabrieken’ (‘Company of Grain and Bread Manufacturers’), the ‘Nederlandsche Crediet- en Depositobank’ (‘Netherlands Credit and Deposit Bank’), the Nederlandsche Bouwmaatschappij (‘Netherlands Construction Company’), and last but not least the ‘Paleis voor Volksvlijt’ (‘Palace of Industry’), which opens in August 1864.


In May, Van Eijk and his family move to Keizersgracht RR 168 (presently number 128) in Amsterdam, directly across from the House with the Heads. Van Eijk has Fortuné la Moile take portrait photos of himself, his wife, and his daughter. Van Eijk takes his first photo.


Alongside his countless other activities, Van Eijk is active as a photographer. He works with a variety of processes: the daguerreotype, the paper negative, and the wet collodion plate. In 1855, Van Eijk presents his first lecture at Felix Meritis, on the topic of ‘aanwending van het licht ter voortbrenging van afbeeldingen’ (‘application of light for the production of images’). In the same year, his first articles about photography are published. In the coming ten years, he will publish numerous articles relating his experiences with chemical baths, paper sorts, and lenses. Van Eijk submits his work to exhibitions in the Netherlands and abroad, with his photos finding their way into private collections.


For the Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt, Van Eijk organises the first Internationale Tentoonstelling voor Photographie en Héliographie (‘International Exhibition of Photography and Heliography’) in 1855. In 1858, 1860 and 1862, a second, third, and fourth exhibition follow. Van Eijk himself submits work to each of the exhibitions. In 1855 and 1858, he also sits on the jury.


On 28 February, Van Eijk’s wife, Johanna Elisabeth Bunk, dies. She is buried at the Westerkerk Church in Amsterdam in grave no. 71.


By the Royal Decree of 20 July 1861, Van Eijk is named as a member of the Dutch ‘Executive Committee’ of the International Exhibition in London. On 5 March 1862, the Dutch minister of Foreign Affairs also names him as a member of the jury. Van Eijk also submits work himself: in Department II, Class XIII (‘Mathematical and Physics Instruments’), a thermometer to be used during public lectures; in Class XIV, actual size reproductions of etchings by Rembrandt, for which he receives an honourable mention. For the Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt, Van Eijk writes a report on the International Exhibition totalling more than 300 pages. For his activities on behalf of the Dutch executive committee, Van Eijk is made a Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion.


In 1863, Van Eijk is named as a member and chairman of the ‘Commissie van Toezicht op het Middelbaar Onderwijs’ (‘Supervisory Committee of Secondary School Education’) in Amsterdam. Van Eijk holds this position at least until 1870. In that year, he publishes a brochure in which he argues for public secondary education for ‘Girls’, specifically a three-year course starting at the age of fourteen, with a curriculum that also includes the subjects geometry, physics, chemistry, and natural history.


Together with Eduard Isaac Asser, P.J. Kaiser and others, Van Eijk becomes a contributor to the Tijdschrift voor Photographie (‘Magazine of Photography’), which is published for three years. In his articles, he discusses new lenses and photography on dry paper.


In November, Van Eijk and his two daughters move to Keizersgracht 763.


Van Eijk organises the Internationale Tentoonstelling van Schone Kunsten toegepast op Industrie (‘International Exhibition of Fine Arts Applied to Industry’, 1865), held at the Paleis voor Volksvlijt. He also submits work of his own. One year later, he also organises the Algemeene Tentoonstelling van Nederlandsche Nijverheid en Kunst (‘General Exhibition of Dutch Industry and Art’). Van Eijk is made a ‘Commander in the Order of the Oak Crown’ in recognition of his activities for the latter exhibition.


By the Royal Decree of 2 October 1865, Van Eijk is named as a member of the Dutch ‘Executive Committee’ for the Exposition Universelle (‘International Exposition’) to be held in Paris in 1867. Van Eyck is also part of the sub-committee charged with the allocation, classification, and grouping of objects. For his contribution to the ‘l’oeuvre international’ in 1868, Van Eijk is awarded two silver medals and one bronze medal by the ‘Commission Impérial de l’Exposition Universelle’ in 1868.


Samuel Sarphati dies on 23 June 1866. Van Eijk succeeds him as president-director of the ‘NV Paleis voor Volksvlijt’, initially on an ad interim basis. The shareholders select a new board of directors, consisting of four people, under the chairmanship of Van Eijk, who is assigned the task of getting the organisation’s finances back in order.


In 1868, the board members of the Paleis voor Volksvlijt cease to exercise their mandate, with Van Eijk being the only one chosen for a second time. In September 1868, he steps down to facilitate the establishing of a new organisational structure, comprising one director and a supervisory board. Van Eijk is made an honorary member of the board, which he remains until his death in 1887.


Van Eijk publishes his last major article on a topic concerning photography in De Volksvlijt, entitled ‘De sterrenhemel en de photografie’ (‘The Night Sky and Photography’) in 1878. In 1880, 1883, and 1884, Van Eijk publishes several photography-related ‘Mededeelingen’ (‘Notices’) in the magazine.


Little is known about the last years of Van Eijk’s life. The last entry mentioning his name dates from 1880 in the annual report of Felix Meritis with respect to his meteorological observations. From 1877 to 1887, he is the sole editor of De Volksvlijt. Van Eijk is bedridden in the year prior to his death. On 28 January 1887, Jan Adriaan van Eijk dies at his home at Keizersgracht 763 at the age of seventy-eight and is buried on 2 February in ’s-Graveland.


As a photographer, Jan Adriaan van Eijk was among the ‘gentleman’ amateurs who, well-educated and possessing a broad interest in science and technology, practiced ‘the discovery of image production by means of light’ with great enthusiasm, alongside all of their other activities. As was customary for amateurs, Van Eijk sought his subjects in his own surroundings: the view from the window, his immediate family and circle of friends, the region where he and his family spent their summers. Van Eijk applied various processes and experimented with stereo photography on daguerreotype plates. Like many of his contemporaries, he explored photography’s capabilities for reproducing drawings and prints. In the literature of Dutch photographic history, Van Eijk is known only through the publications of Jan Coppens from the 1970s and ’80s. In recent decades, however, his name appears frequently in studies concerning the Paleis voor Volksvlijt (‘Palace of Industry’), Samuel Sarphati, and the physics department at the Maatschappij Felix Meritis (‘Felix Meritis Society’), thereby doing justice to the diversity of this nineteenth-century figure who lived and worked ‘in the spirit of the Crystal Palace’.

The earliest part of Jan Adriaan’s youth is certain to have been marked by the loss of his father at the age of one-and-a-half years. Willem Jacob van Eijk headed the glue, resin, and sulphur factory at the end of the Overtoomseweg in the municipality Nieuwer-Amstel. According to the obituary that Jan Adriaan’s mother, Anna van Eijk, placed in the Opregte Haarlemsche Courant of 22 May 1809, W.J. van Eijk died from the consequences of an ‘Accident [sec], which ended his dear life in the time of only two Days’. Four months later, a sister entered the world, adorned with the first names of both parents: Wilhelmina Anna Jacoba. Jan Adriaan was almost nine-years-old when his mother remarried, and up until his fifteenth year, a new half-sister or half-brother was born each and every year. His stepfather, Theodoor Johan Bijleveld, was the ‘Hoogheemraad’ (the highest authority of a ‘Dutch Water Board Council’) of Rhineland, who settled his growing family at the country estate ‘Wel-te-Vreden’ on the Herenweg in Warmond. What we do know about Van Eijk and his sister’s youth is that they lacked nothing in terms of material comforts. Their stepfather furnished them with ‘everything required of a respectable status and education’, as indicated in the financial accounting drawn up following the death of their mother in 1831. This included both a study at the Latin School in Middelburg as well as drawing lessons, of which the family has preserved one example. Van Eijk’s talents proved to be limited, but it was at least a good exercise in observation.

Perhaps it was an incident in these rural surroundings that had sparked Van Eijk’s later interest in physics, and specifically ‘the electric fire of heaven’. During a lecture given in 1853, he told of how a farmer was rustling up two cows in a field adjacent to his parents’ country house during an intense thunderstorm. A single lightning bolt killed both animals, while the man himself remained unharmed. In Album der Natuur (‘Album of Nature’) of 1853, Van Eijk related that he once witnessed a bolt of lightning strike directly in front of his house in Warmond, which pushed the window in front of him inwards. Notwithstanding, Van Eijk’s chosen path was more subdued: studying law at Leiden University. It is not known whether he also attended classes in mathematics and physics at this time.

After passing his doctoral exam in 1831 with a study about the Roman jurist Publius Alfenus Varus, Van Eijk took his oath as a lawyer with the likely plan of establishing himself soon after in Amsterdam. In any case, by the time his first child was born in 1833, he and his wife, Johanna Elisabeth Bunk, were indeed living on the Herengracht in the Dutch capital. Nothing is known about Van Eijk’s law practice. As B.J. Gratama (1822-1886), a professor of criminal law in Groningen, used to say during his lectures, the life of a lawyer can be divided into three phases: ten years of hunger, ten years of making money, and ten years of getting rich. To what extent this applied to Van Eijk is not known. The fact remains that he was able to hold a second profession while maintaining his practice as a lawyer. Like his father, he became the director of a factory. In 1836, Van Eijk purchased the ‘affair’—or rather ‘goodwill’—of a vinegar manufacturing company ‘of the 2nd and 3rd class’ in the possession of M.C.H. Hulman in Diemen, along with various tools and the full inventory of raw materials. Hulman bound himself to the agreement never to establish any kind of vinegar production under any denomination in the kingdom of the Netherlands, nor to assist others in the establishing and execution of such a pursuit. Van Eijk established his factory ‘De drie Bramen’ (‘The Three Blackberries’) on the corner of the Lijnbaansgracht and the Lauriergracht in Amsterdam. ‘Van Eijk en Co., azijnmakers’ (‘vinegar makers’)’ is listed as such in the Amsterdam municipal address books from 1845/’46 to 1848/’49. But according to advertisements in the Nederlandsche Staatscourant of 1 and 4 February 1848, Van Eijk had already quit by this time, with Joannes ter Haar, a man with whom he had associated, continuing the business on his own under the name of ‘Van Eijk, Ter Haar en Co.’. In the Algemeen Adresboek (‘General Address Book’) of 1854/’55, the company is no longer listed.

By this time, Van Eijk had already found a new part-time endeavour. In January 1845, he was accepted as a member of the ‘afdeling Natuurkunde’ (‘Department of Physics’) at the Maatschappij Felix Meritis (‘Felix Meritis Society’). This distinguished society possessed a renowned physics collection, a physics and chemistry laboratory, and an observatory for meteorology and astronomy. In these surroundings, Van Eijk is certain to have felt completely in his element. As early as the winter season of 1845/’46, he replaced a lector who had accepted a position elsewhere. Among the responsibilities associated with the lectorate were the tasks of instructing ‘jongelieden’ (‘young people’)—sons, nephews, and pupils of the members—in the principles of physics as well as giving lectures on Tuesday evenings. The physics amphitheatre could seat approximately two hundred people. In November 1845, Van Eijk approached the lectern for the first time and announced he was somewhat hesitant to stand in this place, where so many scholars had already spoken before him. In the manuscript of this first lecture, this opening passage was substituted for a previous version in which Van Eijk labeled himself as a ‘simple lover of physics’—hesitation, but without cutting himself short. And with what did he choose to regale his audience? A treatise on the ‘onweder’ (‘thunderstorm’). It was his favourite topic, unifying atmospheric conditions and the phenomenon of electricity, which he would discuss at great depth on numerous occasions in the future.

In the annual reports and annual accounts of Felix Meritis, Van Eijk’s lectorate is described as being temporary. With the start of the 1846/’47 season, he was paid 300 guilders each year, based on ‘erkentelijkheid’ (‘recognition’) for proven services. The lectors preceding Van Eijk had received a fee of 500 guilders per year. The minutes of the Executive Board indicate that Van Eijk’s willingness to take on this task was favourable for the society from a financial viewpoint. In difficult times, one reduced the salary of the amanuensis. Van Eijk, on the other hand, was surprised and grateful, and had intimated that the funds would be used to conduct his research in physics. The amount of 300 guilders repeatedly appears in the annual accounts, with the entry name changed from ‘temporary position’ to ‘fee for the lector Van Eijk’ after several years. Van Eijk continued held this function without cessation up until the 1873/’74 season. In 1855, he was made an honorary member, and in 1872, he was offered an amicable dinner on the occasion of his twenty-fifth year with the society—but only after the executive board had enquired whether a tribute was appropriate, when considering that Van Eijk was receiving a yearly ‘gift’ to begin with.

During the many years of his lectorate, Van Eijk covered a multitude of physics-related topics, with electricity in all of its various forms as the constant. He was not averse to experimentation, carrying out tests that no one before him had ever conducted in Amsterdam. One instance occurred in 1848, at which time Van Eijk wished to empirically demonstrate the concept developed by Michael Faraday three years earlier, concerning a field to encircle magnetic and electrical forces. The precision instrument maker A. van Emden, who had built a polarisation device specifically for this occasion, assisted Van Eijk in his effort. At this time, Van Eijk also managed to generate electric light with highly galvanic batteries. One year after his becoming a lector, the accounts make first mention of Van Eijk’s meteorological observations. Felix Meritis was well equipped for such endeavours, with an observation deck on a balcony behind the amphitheatre, which was also suitable for the observation of atmospheric electricity. Van Eijk’s talks and experiments are certain to have involved a high degree of spectacle and, according to the annual reports, were very well attended. Things sometime went amiss, however, such as in the fiscal year 1852/’53, when the board earmarked Dfl. 24.30 for a new dial on Van Eijk’s electrification machine, ‘broken in the service of the [Felix Meritis] Society’.

Under the direction of F.J. Stamkart, Felix Meritis’ astronomical observatory had again become an important observation station. Stamkart was an ‘arrondisementsijker’ (‘district inspector of weights and measures’) in Amsterdam, whose ‘Kantoor van de IJk’ (‘Office of Measurements’) at the Westerhal was where the instruments of Felix Meritis were calibrated. Stamkart was a layman astronomer but had received an honorary doctorate from Leiden University for his scientific work in 1844. Van Eijk also took part in astronomical observations, such as the transit of Mercury across the sun on 9 November 1848, for which Stamkart published the results in the Tijdschrift voor de wis- en natuurkundige wetenschappen (‘Magazine of Mathematical and Physical Sciences’) of 1849. During the solar eclipse of 28 July 1851, Van Eijk was outside the city. In his stead was Professor C.J. Matthes, as Stamkart faithfully mentioned in his article about the eclipse, published in the magazine Algemeene Konst- en Letterbode (‘The General Art and Literary Messenger’) of that same year. At some point during this period, an attempt was also made to take a photo of the moon from the observatory. Many years later, in 1878, in an article written for the magazine De Volkvlijt entitled ‘De sterrenhemel en de photographie’ (‘The Night Sky and Photography’), Van Eijk recalled how he had tried to capture an image of the moon on copper plate—prior to the first attempts at photographing heavenly bodies made in France in 1850—together with the daguerreotypist Fortuné la Moile, but without success. As far as we know, this was the first time that Van Eijk was involved in the making of a photographic shot. Although Felix Meritis had been in possession of the very first daguerreotype equipment reaching the Netherlands since 1844 [?? equipment arrived as early as 1839, it was in possession of FM since 1844] , and Van Eijk was perhaps familiar with the tests conducted there in 1839, at no point was the subject addressed during the first ten years of his lectorate.

Van Eijk’s activity in the area of physics was not only limited to the circle of Felix Meritis. In 1846, the ‘Inrigting voor Onderwijs voor Koophandel en Nijverheid’ (‘Institute of Education for Commerce and Industry’) opened its doors in Amsterdam, an initiative of Samuel Sarphati (1813-1866) designed to mould future sales merchants and industrialists academically. In addition to several professors for the ‘alpha classes’ (essentially comparable to the Humanities), Van Eijk was hired to teach the classes in physics. Like Van Eijk, Sarphati was greatly interested in new technologies, though he was more at home in the field of chemistry due to his medical background. As a Jew, Sarphati was ineligible to become a member of Felix Meritis. Not until 1862 would the society’s ‘general meeting’ authorise the acceptance of ‘Israelites’ (with fifty voting ‘for’, thirty-six ‘against’, and eight abstaining). In Amsterdam, however, a privately owned physics cabinet intended for educational purposes was owned by the (likewise Jewish) precision instrument maker Abraham van Emden (1794-1860), the same man who made the polarisation device for Van Eijk in 1848. This institution was called the ‘Museum van Wetenschap en Nijverheid’ (‘Museum of Science and Industry’), which also organised lectures. Besides the professors C.J. Matthes and E.H. von Baumhauer, Van Eijk and Sarphati were also among the speakers. Accordingly, by as early as the second half of the 1840s, the lawyer and the doctor knew each other well. In 1848, both men were made honorary members of the ‘Bataafsch Genootschap der Proefondervindelijke Wijsbegeerte’ (‘Batavian Society of Empirical Philosophy’) in Rotterdam.

A year before, Van Eijk had been approached by the curators of the ‘Athanaeum Illustre’ to appraise the value of the physics and chemistry cabinet of the deceased professor W. Swart, with the aim of purchasing the collection. In the winding up of this long-drawn-out matter, it turned out that Sarphati had a claim on a model steam machine found in Swart’s cabinet, which Van Eijk had deemed unfounded. Undoubtedly, Sarphati had intended to acquire this model for the museum. His involvement in the museum’s fortunes is evident: when Van Emden was obliged to leave his premises on the Nieuwendijk in 1852, Sarphati provided him with an alternative at his business school on the Doelenstraat. From that point forward, the museum was called the ‘Polytechnical Museum’. In April 1853, King William II and Prince Hendrik paid a visit, during which Sarphati and Van Eijk both demonstrated several physics experiments.

Prior to this time, in January 1852, an interesting experiment had been conducted at the museum’s former location on the Nieuwendijk. The aforementioned daguerreotypist Fortuné la Moile gave a talk (in French) on daguerreotypes made by means of galvanic (electric) light. He surprised the audience by taking portrait shots of two university professors in attendance on the spot (in all likelihood Matthes and Baumhauer). Conceivably, Van Eijk might have been on hand to generate the artificial light. In an account of this gathering as reported in the 19 January 1852 issue of the Amsterdamsche Courant, the experiment is mentioned in the same breath as Van Eijk’s lecture on the topic of galvanism applied to light and heat.

At this time, Van Eijk was not yet working with a camera himself. Even the articles of the Delft professor Salomon Abraham Bleekrode (1814-1862) published in the Jaarboekje van wetenschappen en kunsten (‘Year Booklet of the Sciences and Arts’) in 1847 and 1850, which concerned the photographic registration of measuring instruments, had failed to spark a desire to photograph. As late as 1854, Van Eijk asked La Moile to make daguerreotype portraits of him and his wife, together with one of their daughters. A subject that did repeatedly recur in Van Eijk’s lectures at Felix Meritis, however, was (electric) light. In the winter season 1853/’54, light—’that invaluable gift (…) allotted to us mortals by the creator’—was even the theme of a concerted programme presented by Van Eijk, Matthes, and Baumhauer. On 22 March 1855, Van Eijk taught for the first time on the topic of ‘the application of light for the production of images’. Van Eijk’s popular science article entitled ‘Lichtbeelden’ (‘Light Images’), published in the Album der Natuur (‘Album of Nature’) in this same year, is probably an elaboration of this lecture. Dating from the same year is a daguerreotype of a small statue, which according to an annotation on the reverse side was ‘taken with electric light in Felix Meritis’ by Van Eijk himself, indicating he had now finally turned to photography.

Van Eijk entered into photography quite late, about fifteen years after its invention. The lawyer Eduard Isaac Asser (1809-1894)—a professional colleague, as well from Amsterdam, and of the same age—had begun experimenting with the medium ten years earlier. Even if Van Eijk was a pioneer in various areas—including the aforementioned attempt to photograph the moon and his successful shot using electric light as far as is known the oldest preserved shot of its kind in the Netherlands—he cannot be categorised among the first wave of amateur photographers’ active in the Netherlands. Because of his late start, Van Eijk’s dealings with photography may not be viewed as an extension of his interest in natural science alone. That photography eventually became an area of serious study is perhaps best understood based on his activities for the Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt (‘Association of Industry’) in Amsterdam. This organisation had been established in 1852 by Sarphati and several like-minded spirits, after having attended the Great Exhibition one year before at the Crystal Palace in London, where they were shocked by the Netherlands’ pathetic contribution. The handling of the Dutch entry had been left to private initiative by the government, which only later allocated 6,000 guilders—an amount far too insubstantial for devising a respectable presentation doing justice to the then current state of industry in the Netherlands. The Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt aimed to improve this situation by developing initiatives to increase people’s interest in the nation’s industry and its products, and to stimulate industry itself. This was to be achieved through exhibitions, conferences, and the dissemination of politico-economic and scientific literature. A large building would also be required for the exhibitions and conferences—a Dutch Crystal Palace—but then in a permanent form. For the dissemination of literature, in 1854 the publication De Volksvlijt. Tijdschrift voor nijverheid, landbouw, handel en scheepvaart (‘De Volksvlijt [‘Industry’]. Magazine of Industry, Agriculture, Commerce and Shipping’) was established. Van Eijk was made the association’s ‘director-secretary’ as well as the magazine’s editor, together with W.C.H. Staring. Fulfilling such a function, it was easy for him to build up an international network. Van Eijk established contact with the French magazine La Lumière, published by Alexis Gaudin (1816-1894), and starting in 1853, Van Eijk, as the ‘directeur de la Société internationale de l’Industrie’ (‘director of the International Society of Industry’), was the Dutch correspondent. In the initial years, the relations between Paris and Amsterdam were warm and close. La Lumière‘s chief editor Ernest Lacan allocated space in his columns to the Vereeniging voor Volkvlijt’s activities in the area of photography. In 1855, he presented a heliographic image on a steel plate by the French photographer Ed. Baldus as a gift, which was subsequently printed in De Volksvlijt. In Vienna, Austria, Van Eijk managed to garner the interest of Alois Auer (1813-1869), the director of the K.u.k. Hof- und Staatsdruckerei (‘Imperial and Royal Court and Government Printing Office’), in the association’s activities. In 1855, Auer was bestowed honorary membership in the association. In return, he presented an album as a gift comprising examples of the Naturselbstdruck (‘Nature Printing’)—which he ‘invented’ himself—as well as other printing techniques applied by the Austrian governmental printing office.

While it was not until 1864 that the Paleis voor Volksvlijt first opened its doors, the association started holding exhibitions as early as 1853. Following an exhibition on building materials, photography was given its turn in 1855. The exhibition was the first international platform where photographers could take part in friendly competition since the Great Exhibition of 1851. The Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt’s board consequently had major plans for the event. Its appeal to the artist’s society Arti et Amicitiae (” [?? Vertalen? Felix Meritis wordt toch ook niet vertaald? Letterlijk (3e naamval enkelvoud) betekent het Voor de kunst en de vriendschap]) in Amsterdam to serve as the exhibition venue was met with success. The exhibition programme was drawn up in French and was published in La Lumière on 17 March and in the Algemeene Konst- en Letterbode on 7 April. It was signed by the directors of both organisations and bestowed additional prestige through the aegis of the Dutch prince, Frederick. Ernest Lacan acted as the contact person for those French photographers wishing to partake. As a result, the French contribution to the exhibition was disproportionately large: twenty-eight of the sixty-five entries, which incidentally had a positive influence on the overall level of the exhibited works.

With the Internationale Tentoonstelling van Photographie en Héliographie (‘International Exhibition of Photography and Heliography’), the organisers hoped to familiarise Dutch photographers and manufacturers, as well as the general public, with advances occurring abroad, ‘where these arts have become an important part of the general population’s lives’. There were not only photos and heliogravures on display, but also photographic equipment and chemicals, along with anything else serving to elucidate the progress and current state of affairs in this particular branch of industry. As such, the exhibition was highly suited to a culture that would continue to expand in the decades to follow. People living in Western countries were beginning to sense that they were part of a dynamic, technical world—one in which innovations were a daily event. To serve this progress, competition among participants was encouraged through a system of awards and distinctions. Lacan was given the honourable task of handing out the twenty-one medals awarded his fellow countrymen by the exhibition’s jury.

In the same spirit, the Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt organised other international photography exhibitions in the years 1858, 1860, and 1862, albeit with mixed success. The frequency with which these events were held was on par with the prestigious Société Française de Photographie (‘French Society of Photography’), which held its exhibitions every other year. The number of Amsterdam exhibitions was remarkably high for an organisation concerned with industry in general. During these years, exhibitions were also organised in the areas of agriculture (1857), industrial art (‘kunstvlijt’, 1859), fishing equipment (1861), and Japanese objects (1863). Prior to the Paleis voor Volksvlijt’s opening, however, photography was the only regularly recurring subject, solely to be explained by Van Eijk’s impassioned commitment. Of the four directors, he was the only person who photographed himself. He was also the most productive writer. In the 1855 to 1864 volumes of De Volksvlijt, Van Eijk published nineteen articles. In the column ‘Mededeelingen’ (‘Notices’), he contributed more than fifty pieces concerning photography. Co-director Salomon Bleekrode published two short one-page articles in 1857, while Julius Schaarwächter (1821-1891), a photographer from Nijmegen, made his debut one year later as an author, contributing two more extensive articles. Excepting an anonymous review of the 1858 exhibition, Van Eijk himself wrote all other articles on the topic of photography appearing in De Volksvlijt during this decade. In accounts of the association’s exhibitions, Van Eijk’s tireless devotion is mentioned on numerous occasions.

Among the estimated 700 photos on display in the upstairs exhibition space at Arti et Amicitiae during the first Internationale Tentoonstelling van Photographie en Heliographie, five works by Jan Adriaan van Eijk were also on exhibit. The summary in the catalogue states that four of his five submissions were daguerreotypes. With his preference for photography ‘on silver’, Van Eijk was in no way a trendsetter. The daguerreotype’s heyday had already reached its peak and was outnumbered at the exhibition. Entry no. 15c, described as ‘Proeve van photographie op zilver, door electrisch licht’ (‘Print of photography on silver, with electric light’), is presumably the shot of a statuette from a private collection, with the following annotation written on the reverse: “Mr. J.A. van Eijk fecit. 1855, met elektrisch licht in Felix Meritis” (‘J.A. van Eijk fecit. 1855, with electric light in Felix Meritis’). This raises the question of whether Van Eijk’s first photographic experiments were conducted using Felix Meritis’ daguerreotype equipment, which had been in the society’s possession since 1844. Unfortunately, historical sources have as yet failed to provide an answer.

Van Eijk made daguerreotypes in various plate formats. Among his portraits of family members and those men with whom he associated, nine are on a 1/6 plate or smaller. Regrettably, the portraits are rarely accompanied by annotations. As such, the identities of most can only be guessed. On the reverse of one photo, Van Eijk wrote: ‘W. Warnsinck Jr.’ and ‘[LL.M.] J.A. van E. ft 1856’. This could be a reference to W.H. Warnsinck Jr., a board member of the physics department at Felix Meritis, with whom Van Eijk was in regular contact. In a double portrait of two girls, he noted: ‘photographed by [LL.M.] J.A. van Eijk in 1854 in the house on the Keizersgracht across from the House with the Heads’. Although he makes no mention of the girls’ names, in all likelihood this concerns his two youngest daughters.

Van Eijk’s legacy also includes six of his stereo daguerreotypes, a remarkable product for an amateur photographer. With their ‘magical effect’, stereo photos were among the public’s favourites during the exhibition at Arti et Amicitiae. In 1859, Van Eijk wrote in retrospect: ‘I will never forget with what surprise and pleasure those eminent and insignificant viewed the beautiful stereoscopic photographs of Claudet and others at the first exhibition of photography, [organised] by the Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt in the year 1855 at the exhibition space of the society Arti et Amicitia. The stereoscope was then still scarcely known in our country, and as a result, many who saw it for the first time could only be convinced they were looking merely at a depiction rather than the objects themselves by showing the inserted [daguerreotype].’ In addition to the stereo daguerreotypes sent in from abroad, there were also examples submitted by Dutch photographers: F.W. Deutmann (1808-1895) of Amsterdam and the brothers Ch. and H. Mouhot from The Hague. An article devoted to the Mouhot brothers and their stereo daguerreotypes had been previously published in the monthly magazine Astrea in 1854. In any event, Van Eijk and the Mouhots first came into contact and spoke with each other around the time of the exhibition. The two brothers presented him with a reproduction of a shot of Tsar Nicholas I lying on his deathbed, which they were distributing. The reverse is signed: ‘Pour Monsieur J.A. van Eijk par Mouhot’ (For Monsieur J.A. van Eijk by Mouhot’). The Mouhots may therefore have very well encouraged Van Eijk to experiment with stereo photography, though the physics/theoretical aspects of ‘lichamelijk zien’ (‘corporeal vision’) perhaps inspired him just as much.

All six of Van Eijk’s surviving stereo daguerreotypes are shots of still-standing objects: statuettes and other small sculptures, a bas-relief, and still lifes he composed himself. One still life depicts a rather intriguing arrangement of objects: on a small table stands an oil lamp supported by an ornamental base with an elegant lampshade; to the right, a glass stopper bottle with a milky substance that stands out against a dark surface; and on the left, a mirror that reflects the base and the underside of the oil lamp. With this curious combination, Van Eijk came close to achieving the highest possible degree of illusionism. In 1859, he published an article in De Volksvlijt on the topic of ‘stéréoscopisch zien’ (‘stereoscopic vision’)—likewise the source of his aforementioned words written in retrospect. The article is accompanied by drawn illustrations intended to clarify the latest theoretical insights. A year later, Van Eijk submitted these drawings along with his entry to the third Tentoonstelling van Photographie (‘Exhibition of Photography’). Nowhere, however, are his stereo daguerreotypes mentioned in the exhibition catalogues.

For two of the other surviving daguerreotypes, there is no way of determining whether they were actually taken by Van Eijk. They differ from the others in their execution. The passe-partout of the holders are decorated with an appealing octagonal golden frame, as used by professional photographers such as A. Daru in the 1840s. It concerns a small portrait of a young girl, possibly Van Eijk’s daughter Johanna Elisabeth, born in 1839, and an unusual cityscape, specifically the rear facade of an Amsterdam canal house. Annotations added later indicate that the house depicted is the ‘Koning van Polen’ (‘King of Poland’) at Herengracht 192, which was inhabited by Hendrik Croockewit (1785-1863), the director of De Nederlandsche Bank (‘The Netherlands Bank’), from 1849 to 1853. In 1901, Croockewit’s grandson Jacob Marie Croockewit married one of Van Eijk’s granddaughters. It is through her that all of Van Eijk’s extant material came into the Croockewit family’s possession.

Another surviving daguerreotype confirms that Van Eijk himself also produced cityscapes on copper plate. To take this shot, he did what Eduard Isaac Asser had done many times: he simply opened his window and photographed the view. Since moving to Keziersgracht 128 in May 1854, Van Eijk was living directly across from the Huis met de Hoofden (‘House with the Heads’), a picturesque monument of the Dutch Renaissance period, which, with its elaborate ornament and contrasts in light and dark, provided beautiful visual material on which to practice. The ‘King of Poland’ and the ‘House with the Heads’ are the only two Amsterdam buildings shot on daguerreotype and preserved for posterity. It is no exaggeration to say that, for daguerreotypists, the cityscape was a virtually non-existent topic.

From the start, Van Eijk was trying out various kinds of techniques and processes at the same time. The fifth photo of his entry to the 1855 exhibition is listed in the catalogue as ‘Photograph (…) from a negative on paper (without retouching)’. Judging by his entries to the photography exhibitions that followed, the daguerreotype soon after vanished from his repertoire. In the catalogue of the second exhibition in 1858, only two ‘Photographs on silver’ are cited in addition to eight paper photos—without any mention of what was depicted, as was true of his entire entry for that year. The heading under which Van Eijk presented a great deal of his work at this time was: ‘the latest discovery by Niepce de St. Victor’. In the years 1857-’59, C.F.A. Niépce de Saint-Victor (1805-1870) experimented with non-perishable prints in a range of monochromatic colours. Van Eijk published his first article on this topic in De Volksvlijt of 1858, describing the different variants he had applied ‘to small photographs, which can be observed at the exhibition of the Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt.’ Especially his fellow photographers are certain to have closely examined the prints in reddish, chestnut, splendidly black, or warm black violet colours, depending on whether Van Eijk had used nitric acid uranium silver or not, or resorted to extra baths of mercury chloride or gold salts. ‘A certain adroitness is required,’ he wrote with the slight hint of an understatement, ‘combined with experience, in order to (…) control the effect of the different baths.’ Niépce himself also submitted three prints of his own invention, with the jury honouring his perseverant study with the ‘medaille d‘argent extraordinaire’ (‘extraordinary silver medal’), as Van Eijk wrote to La Lumière. In De Volksvlijt, he returned to this same subject twice. In 1859, he described Niépce’s latest methods involving substances such as potassium ferrocyanide, which produced a ‘pretty colour like red chalk’. Those interested were invited to come and view the results of Van Eijk’s experiments at the Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt.

With the discovery of the wet collodion plate, the negative/positive process began to grow in popularity, eventually even driving the daguerreotype out of the portrait studios. While paper negatives had already been in use for a much longer period of time, especially for landscape photography, they were less suited for studio work. Van Eijk followed such developments closely and utilised his research projects to encourage these technological advances. In many cases, he recorded noteworthy details about the processes he applied with his prints. In exhibition catalogues, he stated at least the kind of negative used: ‘papier ciré’ (‘waxed paper’), collodion, dry collodion. Together with his numerous publications, which also contained accounts of his findings, Van Eyck’s observations provide excellent insight into the practices of an early amateur photographer. When we see a remark accompanying a print that states an image was fixed with ‘hypos. sodae [sodium thiosulfate, AvV] and gold salt v. Engler’, then this refers again back to Van Eijk’s article ‘Nieuwe wijze om positive photographiën te maken’ (‘New Method of Taking Positive Photographs’), published in De Volksvlijt in late 1855. The ‘sel d’or van Engler’ produced extremely pleasing tints ‘from a warm-brown colour to a full carbon-black.’ And he continues: ‘The permanence of these photographs, in my opinion, is not to be doubted, and I therefore highly advise that the cited treatment be further studied. The precious gold can probably add just as much to the durability and beauty of photographs on paper, as it has produced with daguerreotypes for many years.’ Van Eijk’s assumption was correct, as the warm-brown colour of the salt print of the ‘House with the Heads’ shot in 1856 demonstrates to this day. Strangely enough, he refrained from applying gold toning to all of his prints.

Van Eijk used the daguerreotype almost exclusively for portraits and still lifes. When applying negative/positive processes, he also turned to two other genres: ‘gezigten van stad en land’ (‘views of cities and the countryside’) and the reproduction of artworks.

With the first public presentation of his work, at the Tentoonstelling van Photographie in 1855, Van Eijk exhibited a calotype of the House with the Heads alongside four other daguerreotypes. Like Asser, he practiced at improving his ability by repeatedly photographing the same subject under various light conditions and by applying various techniques—an exercise for which his daily view out the window was perfectly suited. A third variant is preserved in Van Eijk’s legacy, which according to his annotations dates from May 1856: a salt print toned with Engler’s gold salt. In 1860, Van Eijk again submitted two photos of the House with the Heads, one on wet paper and one ‘like red chalk (bloodstone) (uranium and potassium ferriocyanide)’. These examples may possibly have been prints made from the same shot, in order to investigate the effect of certain processes.

The view from the window was the oldest and most obvious subject for those having the nerve to delve into chemical concoctions and capricious equipment. As Marc-Antoine Gaudin (1804-1880) wrote of the first days following the publication of Daguerre’s process: ‘Everyone wanted to reproduce the view from his window and happy was the individual who managed to capture the silhouette of the roofing tiles against the sky during his first attempt: he was ecstatic about the pipe stacks; never stopped counting the roofing tiles and the bricks of the chimneys (…)’. By the time Van Eijk turned his camera towards the world outside his window, he was hardly a novice. Nevertheless, as with most amateurs in his day, he limited his view to his own living environment.

In Amsterdam, Van Eijk photographed in two other locations, which were both in association with his own activities. The first was the seventeenth-century ‘Westerhal’ on the Westermarkt, a monument of Dutch architecture much loved by the citizenry of Amsterdam but nevertheless designated for demolition due to its dilapidated state. It was the first time that the threat of losing a historic building spurred photographers, both professional and amateur, to eternalise such a monument for posterity: Pieter Oosterhuis, Benjamin Brecknell Turner, and Eduard Isaac Asser. While Van Eijk’s precise motives are unknown, the choice of this subject matter was perhaps not so much determined by the building’s architectural qualities as the fact that the Westerhal housed the city’s ‘Kantoor van de IJk’ (‘Office of Measurements’). The head of this organisation was F.J. Stamkart, with whom Van Eijk collaborated at Felix Meritis’ observatory. It was at the Westerhal that the society’s astronomical clock and the other instruments were calibrated. Unlike the other photographers, Van Eijk’s shot of the building was not from the public road. Instead, he set up his camera in the front window of a private home at Keizersgracht 183 (then LL 227), where one Elisabeth Maria C. Matthes resided. Elisabeth was possibly a family member of the university professor Carel Joannes Matthes, who was also involved in scientific observations conducted at Felix Meritis.

The other location where Van Eijk photographed was less typical for the city, an area on its fringe that was part of Sarphati’s biggest urban development project, in which he too was also closely involved. In 1858, the Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt purchased a garden called ‘Flora’, located on a rampart on the western bank of the Amstel River. The association’s aim was to develop the area around the future Paleis voor Volksvlijt. One year later, the association also purchased the ‘Apollozaal’ (‘Apollo Hall’) on the opposite side of the river, where it established its offices. It was also where exhibitions were held in anticipation of the palace’s completion. On this spot the Amstel Hotel would later be built, as well part of Sarphati’s project development. As early as 1859, Van Eijk exhibited a first shot of the Apollozaal at the exhibition of the Société Française de Photographie. The photo is listed as Ancien Hôtel aux fêtes à Amsterdam (‘Old Hotel for Festivities in Amsterdam’) in the catalogue, photographed on wet collodion. One year later, Van Eijk exhibited a second view of this building at an exhibition in Amsterdam, entitled Gezigt uit Flora op het Tentoonstellingsgebouw der Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt (papier ciré) (‘View from Flora [garden] of the Exhibition Building of the Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt [‘waxed paper’]’). Finally, in 1862 he submitted two shots of this area: Gezigt op het Tentoonstellings-gebouw der Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt and Gezigt op het Wachthuisje in den Amstel (‘View of the Watch-House on the Amstel’), this time without stating the processes he had used. Clearly, Van Eijk had photographed the semi-rural surroundings of the Amstel River beyond the Hogesluis Bridge profusely. Only one salt print has been preserved in his legacy, featuring the watch-house on the Amstel. According to Van Eijk’s own annotation, it was taken on 28 June 1859 on ‘papier ciré extra prompt v. Marion’ (‘waxed paper extra prompt of Marion’). In the De Volksvlijt of 1858, he wrote that this paper had produced inferior results and that it was also costly. Van Eijk personally preferred self-prepared paper that had been treated according to the ‘directions of Davanne’.

A group of four anonymous collodion plates of an unknown origin exist that depict the Amstel yachting harbour and its surroundings photographed from the very same spot, i.e. as seen from the Flora garden. Two of these shots date from 1860, while the other two are from 1862. From these plates, prints were made, either by or on behalf of the collector and amateur photographer J. van Eck (1873-1946) circa 1900. Examples are to be found in the collection of the Amsterdam City Archives, the KOG (Koninklijk Oudheidkundig Genootschap, ‘Royal Dutch Archeological Society’, donated by Van Eck in 1909), and the topographic collection of A.M. van de Waal (1890-1960) at the Amsterdam University Library. The attribution of these plates to Van Eijk is supported not only by the subject itself, but also by the marked precision with which the shots were taken with an intervening period of two years. Only someone accustomed to making precision measurements and working with calibrated instruments could be capable of using his camera like a surveyor with his theodolite. One of the four shots bears major similarities to the one surviving salt print, albeit with different plate dimensions. We know that Van Eijk worked on large glass plates at this time, as other photos in his legacy indicate. Belonging to the same group of anonymous shots is a fifth collodion plate, with a view of the Westermarkt from the Westerhal, which is highly similar to Van Eijk’s only surviving salt print in terms of vantage point and framing. While it cannot be proved, it remains virtually inconceivable that someone else might have positioned himself in front of the very same window on the Keizersgracht and at precisely the same location in the private garden Flora to repeat Van Eijk’s shots.

Like many well-to-do Amsterdam families, the Van Eijk’s spent their summers outside the city. Both Jan Adriaan and his wife had their roots in the province of South Holland, in the vicinity of Warmond. Whether they still owned property in the region is unknown. They may perhaps have stayed with relatives or rented accommodations. According to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century descriptions of towns and villages, Hillegom, with its appealing location near the coast, was popular as a ‘pleasure resort’ among urban dwellers from Haarlem, Leiden, and places as far away as Amsterdam, with the newly built railway line being particularly useful. In the village of Hillegom, Van Eijk shot a number of townscapes in August of 1855 and 1856. This was a rarity in the Netherlands, where the genre of landscape photography was virtually non-existent in this period. Van Eyck was the first to observe and deplore this deficiency. In his 1858 article in De Volksvlijt, entitled ‘Vorderingen in de photographie’ (‘Advances in Photography’), he addressed not only the technical innovations, but likewise provided his own account of the ‘state of the art’. He noted that photographers abroad had been devoting interest to landscapes, buildings, and architectural monuments, while their counterparts in the Netherlands were limiting themselves almost exclusively to the portrait, for which there was simply the greatest demand. The reason, in his view, was the absence of a cultural climate that was favourable for photography. In Great Britain, there was not only an interest and involvement on the part of the royal house, but the government also stimulated photography. He was referring to the British military’s initiative to train and dispatch photographers, whose task it was to photograph anything of relevance—for the military itself, but also for history, archaeology, natural history, anthropology, ethnology, etc. He concluded: ‘With such a large and general interest in and useful application of an art (…) artists feel encouraged to continually strive for greater perfection.’ That Dutch photographers were ignoring the landscape ‘is highly regrettable, because our Fatherland offers so many gorgeous views, both of land as well as city.’

Four summer shots by Van Eijk are known, of which he sometimes made multiple prints in trying out various chemicals. They are all taken along the Hillegommerbeek (‘Hillegom Creek’), with farms and trees reflected in the water and the striking tower of the village church serving as an ideal visual terminus. These images radiate the atmosphere of a leisurely summer day. One image deviates from the others: the virtually treeless surroundings and the hot pavement of the Beeklaan road are anything but picturesque. In this case, however, Van Eijk has added a personal element to the image: standing on the high stone bridge leading to the lime kilns, his wife and youngest daughter, Anna (Annette), take cover beneath their parasols. For the negatives, Van Eijk used papier ciré (‘waxed paper’) applied according to the Le Gray method, for which different formulas existed. He recommended it highly to his readers, especially for landscapes, cityscapes, and architectural photos, because ‘for a short outing of 2 to 3 days [one] need only arrange the chambre noire [‘darkroom’], a tripod on which to place the camera, and a canister with pre-prepared papers, which one can easily finish upon one’s return.’ That was much more comfortable than venturing out with fragile, heavy glass plates, and a mobile laboratory to process images. The paper negative also offered the possibility of retouching. Two ‘states’ of an image depicting the Hillegommerbeek are known to exist. In the second state, Van Eijk shaded the creek’s bank on the negative with a fine pencil, which in the first state can hardly be differentiated from a moored barge—the artist at work. Even though Van Eijk was continually testing out various processes, he still had a good eye for the photographic richness of the city and countryside. His photos are not only important for the unusual choice of subject matter, i.e. the disorderly edges of the city, and picturesque views of villages, but also for their visual quality.

Van Eijk and Art Reproduction

With his debut as a photographer at the first Tentoonstelling van Photographie en Héliographie (‘Exhibition of Photography and Heliography’) in 1855, Van Eijk exhibited a reproduction of a drawing made ‘in sapverf’ (‘in juice paint’), which he had photographed on a silvered copper plate. The original watercolour and the mirrored image on the plate are likely to have born little similarity: authenticity is certain to have played no role in appreciation for the reproduction. On the walls of Arti et Amicitiae, art reproductions produced in other techniques were also on display, which approached their originals much more closely. In the same year, Van Eijk devoted his first major article in De Volksvlijt to heliography, the method of transferring a photographic negative onto a copper plate sensitised with asphalt, from which one could subsequently make prints using an etching press. Niépce de St.-Victor had further refined and written about the process initially developed by his uncle Nicéphore Niépce in his Recherches photographiques (‘Photographic Investigations’, 1855). Significant energy, inventiveness, and money were poured into finding a means to obtain printing forms through photography. The French photographer Charles Nègre (1820-1880) was the first to succeed in achieving remarkable results with the asphalt process, using it to reproduce Rembrandt’s etching ‘Old Bearded Man in a High Fur Cap with Eyes Closed’. In the 21 October 1854 of La Lumière, Lacan had already written about Nègre’s heliogravures and specifically this Rembrandt reproduction: ‘No line of the great painter’s burin, so bold and so spiritual, has escaped the action of the light. It goes without saying that this plate has not been retouched: one does not retouch Rembrandt.’ Van Eijk was more critical of Nègre’s heliogravures—’No connoisseur will confuse this copy for a real print from Rembrandt’s etching needle’—though he acknowledged their importance. He was convinced that, in the not too distant future, the heliogravure would lead to exquisite reproductions. The Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt purchased Nègre’s printing plate and commissioned the plate printing company ‘Widow A. Koning & J.F. Brugman’ in Amsterdam to make prints for binding in De Volksvlijt. In addition, the association submitted both the plate and the print under its own name to the exhibition at Arti et Amicitiae.

In 1853, an ambitious project to illustrate an oeuvre catalogue of Rembrandt’s etchings with photographic reproductions at actual scale was initiated in Paris. Up until 1858, twenty issues of L’Oeuvre de Rembrandt reproduit par la photographie (‘Rembrandt’s Oeuvre Reproduced Through Photography’) had been published, comprising one hundred images in total. The author and compiler was Charles Blanc, the director of the Académie des Beaux-Arts (‘Academy of Fine Arts’), with the reproductions produced by the photographers Bisson frères in Paris—salt prints made from wet collodion plates. For the Rembrandt publication, photographic printing was favoured over photomechanical printing. Yet the salt prints justifiably met with a great deal of scepticism, specifically with regards to their permanence. Perhaps for this reason, the publishers are likely to have switched to heliogravures. Surprisingly enough, Van Eijk is the only contemporary author who makes mention of this. He praised the initiators of the Rembrandt photobook and described its execution as ‘truly beautiful’, but imperfect. When comparing a number of the heliogravures with Rembrandt’s original prints, he observed that ‘especially with the flesh (…) the pleasurable softness is absent, which Rembrandt managed to convey so masterfully in his etchings.’ At the present time, not a single copy of L’Oeuvre de Rembrandt with heliogravures has ever been traced. Considering his expert eye, however, one can hardly imagine that Van Eijk could ever have mistaken a photomechanical print produced according to Niépce’s method for a salt print.

Van Eijk was greatly interested in the possibility of copying drawings and prints photographically. Slowly but surely, art reproduction began to supersede his activities in other areas of photography. At the third photography exhibition in Amsterdam in 1860, Van Eijk exhibited eight reproductions of engravings, in addition to three cityscapes and his illustrations outlining the theory of stereoscopic vision mentioned above. For all of the subsequent exhibitions in the Netherlands and abroad—1861 and 1863 Paris, 1862 London and Amsterdam, 1865 Amsterdam—art reproductions, and especially those of Rembrandt’s etchings, formed the principal core of his entries. The wet collodion plate, which he found to be too cumbersome when on the move, was most suitable for this purpose, due to its substantial sharpness. His negatives were usually printed on albumen paper.

Van Eijk’s review of heliogravures confirms he had access to one or more collections of Rembrandt’s prints. The best collection was at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, then still housed at the Trippenhuis. It was there that Van Eijk set up his chambre noire and tripod in 1862 to photograph Rembrandt’s etching De Advokaat Tolling (‘The Lawyer Tolling’), presently known as De inspecteur Arnold Tholinx (‘The Inspector Arnold Tholinx’, Bartsch 284). We know the shot was taken at the Trippenhuis based on an annotation found on the reverse of the surviving print.

Just as with the Bisson brothers, Van Eijk made his reproductions at actual size. Nothing is known about his working approach. In La Lumière of 22 January 1853, M.-A. Gaudin stated that the Bissons had relied on an enormous camera with a monster lens, so as to prevent distortion. One can hardly imagine that Van Eijk also had access to equipment on this scale. Nor is there any evidence to suggest he had received special permission to photograph at the Trippenhuis: Van Eijk’s name is mentioned nowhere in P.J.J. van Thiels’ article on copyists and photographers at the Rijksmuseum (1982).

Van Eijk’s most extensive elucidation is found in the catalogue of the fifth exhibition of the Société Française de Photographie in 1863, where he exhibited eight Rembrandt reproductions. For example, entry no. 664, entitled Boerderij met witte planken schutting (‘Farm with white wooden fencing’, Bartsch 232), is accompanied by the following text: ‘Épreuve non ébarbée’ (‘Uncropped Print’). According to Bartsch, the first printing state was extremely rare, but the Rijksmuseum held one in its collection. With no. 665, entitled De rust op de vlucht naar Egypte (‘The Rest on the Flight into Egypt’, Bartsch 57), we encounter: Épreuve avant que l’âne fût gravé. Très-rare’ (‘Print before the donkey was engraved. Very rare’). For this etching as well, Van Eijk was granted entry to the Trippenhuis. He therefore devoted his greatest effort to the rarest cases and apparently had ready access to the collection of the Rijksprentenkabinet (‘National Print Cabinet’).

Accustomed as we are to the finest of reproductions, it is difficult for us to imagine just how important enterprises of this nature were for people living in the nineteenth century. We would preferred to have seen Van Eijk spending more of his time taking photos in the city or out on the countryside. To interact with the work of Rembrandt in such an intimate way is certain to have given him great satisfaction, even though he understood very well what its limitations were. As Van Eijk wrote in his 1855 article on the heliogravure: ‘I do not wish to bestow on [photographic reproduction] the significance of the arts of etching and engraving, as practiced in the hand of the artist; in my opinion, this is not at all its objective, to thus enter into the competition as art. Genius (…) should remain foreign to its nature’. When it came to accuracy, however, photography was unparalleled when it came to depicting the composition, dimensions, the strength of the line, etc., of a valuable drawing or print.

Van Eijk received an award for his work on one occasion. Because he was on the organising committee or jury, in most cases his entries were hors concours (‘not competing’). At the International Exhibition in London in 1862, however, he received an honourable mention for ‘several reproductions at actual scale of several very rare and costly etchings by Rembrandt’. After much haggling and a threatened boycott, in London photography was given a category all its own, separate from that of photographic equipment: ‘for the first time in the crescent of all arts and sciences, it is recognised as an independent art.’ Yet London was not a big success. People were tired of exhibitions and the era of major innovations in the areas of photographic processes and devices had passed. Van Eijk exhibited his Rembrandt reproductions up until 1865 and then decided to call it quits. He too had realised that there were issues with photographic prints that precluded their distribution on a major scale: their ‘permanence’ lagged far behind images made with printing ink and it was extremely difficult to produce large editions of consistent quality.

Ten years following his extensive article on heliogravure, Van Eijk wrote about photolithography as a possible alternative in De Volksvlijt. He was now in contact with J.H. van de Weijer, a lithographer from Groningen who worked with this technique. At Van Eijk’s request, Weijer furnished reproductions of a print of Rembrandt’s etching De hut met planken omringd (‘The Hut Encircled by Planks’, Bartsch 232), which was subsequently bound into an issue of De Volksvlijt. Van Eijk verified the result and was content: ‘Following a comparison of this print with an exquisite example of this etching at the [National Print Cabinet] present here, one may consider it to be a successful print.’

The family preserves what still survives of Van Eijk’s works on paper in a portfolio with a text embossed in gold: Photographisch album door Mr. J.A. van Eijk (‘Photographic album by [LL.M.] J.A. van Eijk’). Handwritten on the inside is the annotation ‘“Gedachtenis voor mijne dochter Johanna Elisabeth” (‘Keepsake for my daughter Johanna Elisabeth’). After 1866, Van Eijk wrote only two more major articles about photography for De Volksvlijt: an article in 1872 on dry collodion, and the final article in 1878, entitled ‘De sterrenhemel en de photographie’ (‘The Night Sky and Photography’). Here he mentions his very first experiment with photography prior to 1850, together with Fortuné la Moile at the observatory of Felix Meritis—thus coming full circle. From 1864-’66, he was a co-worker—together with Eduard Isaac Asser and others—with the Tijdschrift voor Photographie (‘Magazine for Photography’), which according to its subtitle aimed to serve photographen, schilders, lithographen, boekdrukkers, militairen, graveurs en dilettanten in de kunst van het photographeren (‘photographers, painters, lithographers, printers, soldiers, engravers, and dilettantes in the art of photographing’). It was an approach emphasising photography’s broad application, with the final editing in the hands of a captain of the ‘Generale Staf’ (the Dutch national guard). Van Eijk’s activities as a photographer, organiser, and publicist were always aimed to promote photography as a branch of industry. In his first article for De Volksvlijt, Van Eijk wrote that he felt it was desirable for people in the Netherlands, as in France, to practice the new art in a way that promoted good taste, expanded human knowledge, and that gave birth to an honest living for many. His wish was never completely fulfilled. Eight years after chastising the Dutch photography world for its one-sided interest in the portrait, the jury of the Algemeene Tentoonstelling van Nederlandsche Nijverheid (‘General Exhibition of Dutch Industry’) of 1866 concluded: ‘It cannot be said that the photographic industry offered something new at the exhibition. With a few exceptions, the entries consist almost entirely of portraits, of greater or lesser quality.’ The magazine De Volksvlijt failed to survive its founder. It was published for the last time in 1887. Two years later, the Maatschappij Felix Meritis closed its own doors, with the physics cabinet subsequently donated to the University of Amsterdam. Classical mechanical physics of the nineteenth century—once a field where dilettantes like Van Eijk felt so much at home—had been replaced by modern theoretical science.


Primary bibliography

Janus Adrianus van Eyk, Dissertatio juridica inauguralis de Publio Alfeno Varo, Jurisconsulto Romano [etc.], Leiden (A. van Benten) 1831.

(Advertentie) Nederlandsche Staatscourant, 1 en 4 februari 1848.

Anoniem [= J.A. van Eijk], Hygrometrische Waarnemingen te Amsterdam op Felix Meritis – Julij 1849, 27 september 1849.

Anoniem [= J.A. van Eijk], Hygrometrische Waarnemingen te Amsterdam op Felix Meritis (Augustus 1849), 11 oktober 1849.

Anoniem [= J.A. van Eijk], Hygrometrische Waarnemingen te Amsterdam op Felix Meritis – September 1849, 15 oktober 1849.

Anoniem [= J.A. van Eijk], Hygrometrische Waarnemingen te Amsterdam op Felix Meritis, over den maand October 1849, 16 november 1849.

J.A. van Eijk, Lichtbeelden, in Album der Natuur. Een werk ter verspreiding van natuurkennis onder beschaafde lezers van allerlei stand 1855, p. 212-224.

J.A. van Eijk, Meteorologische waarnemingen gedaan voor de Maatschappij Felix Meritis, te Amsterdam, Amsterdam (Sulpke) 1857-1862, 1864-1865, 1869.

J.A. van Eijk, Nieuwe handelwijze om positieve photographiën op papier met koolzwart te vervaardigen, in Aantekeningen van het verhandelde in de sectie voor natuur- en geneeskunde van het Prov. Utrechtsche genootschap van kunsten en wetenschappen 1859, p. 40-42.

J.A. van Eijk, [ingezonden brief], in La Lumière 10 (31 maart 1860) 13, p. 49-50.

J.A. van Eijk, Mededeelingen over de toepassing der photolithographie in Nederland, in Aantekeningen van het verhandelde in de sectie voor natuur- en geneeskunde van het Prov. Utrechtsche genootschap van kunsten en wetenschappen 1861, p. 20.

J.A. van Eijk, De Wereldtentoonstelling te Londen in 1862, Amsterdam (C.A. Spin & Zoon) 1863.

J.A. van Eijk, Kogel-lenzen van Harrison en Schnitzer, in Tijdschrift voor Photographie, ten dienste van photographen, schilders, lithographen, boekdrukkers, militairen, graveurs en dilettanten in de kunst van het photographeren 1 (1864), p. 93-95.

J.A. van Eijk, Mededeelingen over de toepassing der photolithographie in Nederland, in Aantekeningen van het verhandelde in de sectie voor natuur- en geneeskunde van het Prov. Utrechtsche genootschap van kunsten en wetenschappen 1865, p. 21-22.

J.A.v.E. [= J.A. van Eijk], Periscopische objectieven, naar Steinheil, in Tijdschrift voor Photographie, ten dienste van photographen, schilders, lithographen, boekdrukkers, militairen, graveurs en dilettanten in de kunst van het photographeren 2 (1865), p. 374-375.

J.A. van Eijk, Photographie op droog papier, in Tijdschrift voor Photographie, ten dienste van photographen, schilders, lithographen, boekdrukkers, militairen, graveurs en dilettanten in de kunst van het photographeren 3 (1866), p. 146-149.

J.A. van Eijk, IV. Het gebouw en de inrigting van de Wereldtentoonstelling te Parijs in 1867, in De Volksvlijt. Tijdschrift voor nijverheid, landbouw, handel en scheepvaart 1868, p. 69-98.

J.A. van Eijk, Het Paleis voor Volksvlijt. Een woord aan mijne stad- en landgenooten, Amsterdam 1868.

J.A. van Eijk, Het Middelbaar Onderwijs voor meisjes te Amsterdam, Amsterdam (Jan D. Brouwer) 1870.


J.A. van Eijk, artikelen over fotografische onderwerpen, in De Volksvlijt. Tijdschrift voor nijverheid, landbouw, handel en scheepvaart:

I. Heliographie of gravure door het licht, 1855, p. 1-14.

XXIX. Nieuwe wijze om positive photographiën te maken, 1855, p. 499-506.

III. Photographie op drooge collodion en droog papier, 1856, p. 28-34.

XXIII. Over de blinding der lenzen van donkere kamers, 1856, p. 285-287.

XXV. Natuur of zelfdruk, 1856, p. 302-308.

XXXIII. Over de toepassing van de photographie tot het etsen van marmer, en het damasceren van metalen, 1856, p. 473-477.

XIV. Over natuurdruk, 1857, p. 324-332.

VII. De toepassing van de photographie op de sterrekunde, 1858, p. 154-158.

VIII. Vorderingen in de photographie, 1858, p. 159-168.

IX. De nieuwe ontdekking van Niepce de St. Victor, omtrent eene merkwaardige werking van het licht en hare toepassing, 1858, p. 169-175.

XXI. De nieuwe onderzoekingen omtrent het licht, van Niepce de St. Victor, 1858, p. 467-471.

VI. Over het stéréoscopisch zien, 1859, p. 152-176.

X. Photographiën met koolzwart, 1859, p. 245-252.

XXI. Photographie met drukinkt en op émail, 1859, p. 413-417.

XI. Over het vervaardigen van positieve photographiën op glas bij doorvallend licht, 1860, p. 210-213.

XII. Zelfwerkende photographische toestel van Bertsch, 1860, p. 233-235.

V. Photographie op droog collodion, 1861, p. 46-48.

IV. Photographie op droog collodion, (resinotypie), 1863, p. 88-91.

IX. Photographische afdrukken zonder zilverzout, 1864, p. 224-225.

III. Tentoonstelling te Londen in 1862, 1865, p. 88-103.

V. Photo-lithographie, 1865, p. 150-153.

V. Verbeterde lensstelsels voor het afnemen van landschappen, gebouwen, enz., 1866, p. 83-85.

V. Photographie op droog collodion, 1872, p. 80-85.

XVI. De sterrenhemel en de photographie, 1878, p. 129-141.


J.A. van Eijk, ‘Mededeelingen’ over fotografische onderwerpen, in De Volksvlijt. Tijdschrift voor nijverheid, landbouw, handel en scheepvaart:

6. Galvanisch koperen drukplaten, 1855, p. 85-86.

20. Verbeterd etsmiddel voor heliographische gravuren, 1855, p. 203.

112. Vernis voor photographiën, 1855, p. 514.

122. Vernis voor negative copiën op collodion, 1855, p. 544.

67. Over het relief zien van portretten, 1856, p. 322.

105. Photographie op hout, 1857, p. 466-467.

36. Verbeterde lensen voor het vervaardigen van photographische landschappen, 1858, p. 180-181.

99. Galvanische gravure, 1858, p. 474-475.

100. Het bedekken van gegraveerde koperplaten met ijzer, 1858, p. 475-476.

4. Photographie op hout, 1859, p. 72-73.

5. Bewaring van chloorzilver-papier, 1859, p. 73-74.

39. Nieuwe photographische methode, 1859, p. 202-204.

40. Opwekking van photographiën in het volle daglicht, 1859, p. 204.

41. Verschillend gekleurde photographiën, 1859, p. 204-205.

72. Over het opgesloten licht van Niepce de St. Victor, 1859, p. 294-296.

73. Over de werking van het licht op salpeterzuur- en chloorzilver, 1859, p. 296-297.

74. Verbeterd ijzerbad voor photographie op glas, 1859, p. 297.

75. Praktische toepassing van den stéréoscoop, 1859, p. 298-299.

76. Verbeterde heliographische gravure, 1859, p. 299-300.

125. Versterking van photographiën, 1859, p. 429.

126. Vernis van negatieve photographiën op collodion, 1859, p. 429-431.

127. Verbeterde lensen voor landschap-photographiën, 1859, p. 431.

2. Magnetische afbeeldingen. (Fantômes magnétiques), 1860, p. 65-66.

17. De donkere kamer van Woodward voor de photographie, 1860, p. 215-216.

18. Stéréoscoop met verlichtings-toestel, 1860, p. 217.

21. Versterking van negatieve photographische clichés, 1860, p. 218-219.

22. Magnetische beelden, 1860, p. 219

70. Snel-photographie, 1860, p. 349-350.

3. Vergrooting van photographiën door electrisch licht, 1861, p. 50-51.

4. Versterking van negatieve photographiën op collodion, 1861, p. 51.

5. Het uitwisschen van zilvervlekken, 1861, p. 51-53.

6. Het terugwinnen van zilver uit oude baden, enz., 1861, p. 53-54.

46. De spectroscoop, 1861, p. 278.

75. Photographiën zonder zilverzout, 1861, p. 398.

76. Microscopische photographie, 1861, p. 399.

31. Photographie op collodion met looizuur, 1862, p. 287-288.

32. Photographisch ijzerbad zonder zuur, 1862, p. 288.

33. Microscopische photographie, 1862, p. 288-289.

34. Over het gebruik van bromiumzouten in de photographie, 1862, p. 289.

35. De photographie in het tentoonstellings-gebouw in Londen in 1862, 1862, p. 289.

60. Photo-sculpture, 1862, p. 419.

5. Photographiën met koolpoeder, 1863, p. 96.

14. Nieuw fixeerbad voor photographiën, 1863, p. 167.

15. Bleeken van gevlekte gravuren, 1863, p. 168.

38. Photo-lithographie, 1863, p. 213-214.

39. Gewijzigde ijzerbaden voor photographie, 1863, p. 214-215.

40. Geel vernis ten dienste van photographen, 1863, p. 215.

45. Photogenie, 1863, p. 349.

1. Snelle opwekking van photographiën op droog collodion, 1864, p. 188-189.

2. Microscopische photographie, 1864, p. 189-192.

3. Kogel-objectief, 1864, p. 192.

23. Nieuwe toestel tot vergrooting van photographiën, 1864, p. 248-249.

24. Verlichting met magnesium voor photographisch gebruik, 1864, p. 249.

48. Nieuwe lensstelsels voor photographie van Darlot, 1864, p. 345-346.

49. Het ontwikkelen van photographische beelden door azijnzuur- en salpeterzuur-ijzer, 1864, p. 346-347.

50. Aanwending van de photographie tot het opnemen van het terrein, 1864, p. 347-348.

52. Wothlytypie, 1864, p. 349.

41. Geëmailleerde photographiën, 1865, p. 161-162.

42. Collodion met chloorzilver, 1865, p. 162-163.

64. Photographiën met koolzwart, volgens Carey Lea, 1865, p. 244-246.

65. Onzijdig zilverbad voor collodionbeelden, 1865, p. 246-247.

66. Over het kleuren van photographiën met alcalische dubbel-chloorgoudbaden, 1865, p. 247-248.

68. IJzerchloride ter oplossing van zilvervlekken, enz., 1865, p. 250.

83. Betrekkelijke gevoeligheid voor het licht van eenige stoffen, 1865, p. 341.

84. Het opwekken van photographische beelden door eene ijzeroplossing met gelatine, 1865, p. 342-343.

85. Gaatjes in collodionhuid, 1865, p. 343-344.

86. Het versterken van collodion-negatieven, 1865, p. 344.

9. Uitmuntend collodion van Dr. Vogel, 1866, p. 97.

10. Manier om oude clichés van het vernis te zuiveren, 1866, p. 97-98.

29. Toover-photographiën, 1866, p. 245-246.

18. Phototypie, 1867, p. 154-155.

50. Nieuwe stéréoscoop van J.C. Maxwell, 1867, p. 242.

51. Photographie op katoen, zijde, enz., 1867, p. 242.

6. Een nieuw photographisch procédé, volgens Woodbury, 1869, p. 12-13.

39. Snelwerkend droog collodion, 1869, p. 119-120.

40. Nieuw kleurbad voor photographiën, 1869, p. 120.

41. Vergrootings-toestel voor photographiën, door middel van magnesiumlicht, 1869, p. 120-121.

12. Gedrukte photographiën, volgens Albert, 1870, p. 88-89.

82. Merkwaardige photographische lens, 1870, p. 331.

78. Over de aanwending van zijde bij de photographie, 1871, p. 353-354.

80. Photographiën van de maan, 1872, p. 296-297.

57. Nieuw behoedmiddel voor drooge collodion-platen, 1873, p. 238.

59. Belangrijke ontdekking van Vogel omtrent opslorping der lichtstralen, 1873, p. 238-239.

60. Rood glas in plaats van geel ter verlichting der photographische ateliers, 1873, p. 239.

61. Photographiën met sepia-kleur, 1873, p. 239.

1. Nieuwe toepassing van de ontleding der zilverzouten tot het verkrijgen van afdrukken, 1874, p. 44-45.

6. Nieuwe wijze van vergrooting van sterrekundige photographiën, 1875, p. 38-39.

21. De grens van het optisch vermogen der microscopen, 1875, p. 109-110.

25. Photographische mededeelingen, 1875, p. 113-114.

25. Verbeterde handelwijze om eene photographie op collodion van het glas op lijm over te brengen, 1876, p. 117-118.

26. Collodionplaatjes tot verschillende physische proeven geschikt, 1876, p. 118-119.

30. Elektrische photometer van Siemens, 1876, p. 170-171.

50. Photographische afdrukken met platinumzouten, 1876, p. 242-243.

51. Aanwending van de photographie ter ontdekking van vervalsching in geschriften, 1876, p. 243.

58. Photographische afbeeldingen van de zonneschijf, 1876, p. 246.

59. De télémeter (afstandmeter) van Gaumet, 1876, p. 246-247.

48. Photographiën op droog collodion, 1877, p. 229.

79. Photographische lens voor panorama, 1877, p. 307.

90. Eenvoudige handelwijze om photographie-afdrukken van regtlijnige teekeningen te vervaardigen, 1877, p. 359-361.

61. Omkeering van het photographische beeld door verlengde blootstelling aan het licht, 1880, p. 249.

71. Phosphorescerende photographiën, 1880, p. 289.

75. Snelle Photographie (Photographie instantané), 1880, p. 294.

25. Het herstellen van aan het licht blootgestelde, maar niet opgewekte photographische glasplaten, 1883, p. 121.

42. Rood licht voor photographisch gebruik, 1884, p. 108.

Secondary bibliography

Anoniem, Namen en woonplaatsen der studenten, in Studenten-Almanak [Leiden] 1828, p. 37.

Anoniem, Namen en woonplaatsen der studenten, in Studenten-Almanak [Leiden] 1829, p. 38.

Anoniem, Namen en woonplaatsen der studenten, in Studenten-Almanak [Leiden] 1830, p. 41.

Anoniem, Namen en woonplaatsen der studenten, in Studenten-Almanak [Leiden] 1831, p. 41.

Anoniem, Na het afdrukken van den Almanak voor 1831 zijn gepromoveerd, in Studenten-Almanak [Leiden] 1832, p. 88.

Anoniem, Series dissertationum inauguraliun, in Academia Lugduno-Batava defensarum, a die IX Februarii MDCCCXXXI ad diem VIII Februarii MCXXXII, in Annales Academiae Lugduno-Batavae 1831-1832, p. 21-22.

Algemeen Adres-boek of Naamregister van de Notabelste inwoners der Stad Amsterdam 1845/46, 1846/47, 1848/49, 1850/51, 1854/55.

F.J. Stamkart, Waarneming van den overgang van Mercurius over de zon, den 9den november 1848 gedaan, te Amsterdam in het gebouw der Maatschappij Felix Meritis, in Tijdschrift voor de wis- en natuurkundige wetenschappen 2 (1849), p. 303.

F.J. Stamkart, Waarnemingen bij gelegenheid der zons-verduistering van den 28. Julij 1851, op het gebouw der Maatschappij: Felix Meritis te Amsterdam, in Algemeene konst- en letter-bode 1851, deel II, p. 102.

E. Lacan, Exposition photographique à Amsterdam, in La Lumière 5 (17 maart 1855) 11, p. 41.

Catalogus der Tentoonstelling van Photographie en Héliographie, gehouden door de Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt, Amsterdam 1855, p. 18 (nr. 15a-15 e ).

Anoniem, Exposition photographique d’Amsterdam, in La Lumière 5 (23 juni 1855) 25, p. 97.

Catalogus van voorwerpen, ingezonden op de Tentoonstelling van Photographie en Heliographie, gehouden door de Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt te Amsterdam, Amsterdam 1858, nr. 21a-21g.

Anoniem, Exposition de la Société Internationale de l’Industrie d’Amsterdam, in La Lumière 8 (14 augustus 1858) 33, p. 129.

Catalogue de la troisième Exposition de la Société Française de Photographie, Parijs 1859, p. 24 (nr. 493).

Catalogus der Tentoonstelling van Photographie, Heliographie enz. gehouden door de Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt, Amsterdam 1860, nr. 94-101, 419-422.

Catalogus van den Atlas van Amsterdam van Louis Splitgerber, Amsterdam 1861, p. 6 (nr. 48), p. 8 (nr. 72).

Catalogue de la quatrième Exposition de la Société Française de Photographie, Parijs 1861, p. 47-48 (nr. 1197-1199).

Catalogus der Tentoonstelling van Photographie en Héliographie gehouden door de Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt, Amsterdam z.j. [1862], p. 9 (nr. 232-241).

Catalogue de la cinquième Exposition de la Société Française de Photographie, Parijs 1863, p. 21 (nr. 663-670).

E.J. Asser, De Tentoonstelling van Photographie in het Paleis van Volksvlijt, te Amsterdam, in Tijdschrift voor Photographie, ten dienste van photographen, schilders, lithographen, boekdrukkers, militairen, graveurs en dilettanten in de kunst van het photographeren 2 (1865), p. 307.

Anoniem, Snippers, in Tijdschrift voor Photographie, ten dienste van photographen, schilders, lithographen, boekdrukkers, militairen, graveurs en dilettanten in de kunst van het photographeren 3 (1866), p. 136.

Catalogus van een bijzonder uitgebreiden, ja weergaloozen topografischen Atlas van Amsterdam […], Amsterdam (Frederik Muller) 1866, nr. 1697.

Anoniem, Vervolg der nieuwstijdingen, in Algemeen Handelsblad 26-27 juni 1866.

W.N. du Rieu, Album Studiosorum Academiae Lugduno Batavae, Den Haag 1875, kolom 1274.

A.C. Wertheim, Dr. Samuel Sarphati, in Eigen Haard 1876, p. 150.

Anoniem, Lijst van kiezers te Amsterdam ter benoeming van afgevaardigden voor de Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal, de Provinciale Staten en den Gemeenteraad, 1853-, Amsterdam 1883.

G.A. Evers, Hoe de fotografie in Nederland kwam, in Lux. Geïllustreerd tijdschrift voor fotografie 25 (1914) 15, p. 356, 360-366.

G.A. Evers, Hoe de fotografie in Nederland kwam. Ia. Aanvulling op de “Lijst van Nederlandsche geschriften over fotografie”, in Lux. Geïllustreerd tijdschrift voor fotografie 26 (1915) 15, p. 298.

G.A. Evers, Hoe de fotografie in Nederland kwam. VI. De eerste tentoonstellingen (1855 en 1858), in Lux. Geïllustreerd tijdschrift voor fotografie 26 (1915) 17, p. 336-337.

G.A. Evers, Hoe de fotografie in Nederland kwam. VII. Lijst van Nederlandsche geschriften over fotografie, verschenen van 1865 tot en met 1889, in Lux. Geïllustreerd tijdschrift voor fotografie 26 (1915) 19, p. 385-392.

C.C.G. Quarles van Ufford, Amsterdam voor ’t eerst gefotografeerd. 80 stadsgezichten uit de jaren 1855-1870, Amsterdam (De Bussy Paperback) z.j. [1968], p. 12, 15.

J.A. Sillem, Herinneringen van mr. J.A. Sillem (1840-1912), in Jaarboek Amstelodamum 62 (1970), p. 189.

Jan Coppens, De talbotypie in Nederland, in Foto 32 (augustus 1977) 8, p. 28-33 (met foto’s).

Jan Coppens, Mr. Jan Adriaan van Eijk, amateurfotograaf (1808-1887), in Boudewijn Bakker e.a. (samenstelling), Liber Amicorum I.H. van Eeghen, Jaarboek Amstelodamum 70 (1978), p. 344-359 (met foto’s).

Ingeborg Th. Leijerzapf (red.), Fotografie in Nederland 1839-1920, Den Haag (Staatsuitgeverij) 1978, p. 35, 68, 94.

Jan Coppens, Mr. Jan Adriaan van Eijk, amateurfotograaf, in Foto 36 (1981) 5, p. 60-62 (met foto’s).

Jan Coppens, Mr. Jan Adriaan van Eijk, amateurfotograaf, in Foto 36 (1981) 6, p. 40-42 (met foto’s).

Jan Coppens, Laurent Roosen en Karel van Deuren, “… door de enkele werking van het licht …”. Introductie en integratie van de fotografie in België en Nederland 1839-1860, Antwerpen (Gemeentekrediet) 1989, p. 73, 78, 98, 158-159, 160-161, 173, 210, 216, 228, 252, 255, 260, 262, 264, 274, 281, 286 (met foto’s).

Mattie Boom en Jan Coppens, Eduard Asser, in Geschiedenis van de Nederlandse fotografie in monografieën en thema-artikelen (1990) 14, p. 5-6, 8.

Mattie Boom, De Amsterdamse fotografietentoonstellingen van 1855, 1858 en 1860, in Geschiedenis van de Nederlandse fotografie in monografieën en thema-artikelen (1997) 28, p. 5, 7, 9, 12-14, 26, d.

Anneke van Veen, Munnich & Ermerins, in Geschiedenis van de Nederlandse fotografie in monografieën en thema-artikelen (1998) 30, p. 6, 18.

Saskia E. Asser, Rembrandt in fotografische staat. Charles Blanc, Bisson frères en L’Oeuvre de Rembrandt reproduit par la photographie, 1853-1858, in Bulletin van het Rijksmuseum 48 (2000) 3, p. 170-199.

E. Wennekes, Het Paleis voor Volksvlijt (1864-1929). ‘Edele uiting eener stoute gedachte’, Den Haag (Sdu Uitgevers) 2000, p. 6, 40-41, 76-77, 80, 83-90, 94, 135, 146, 171, 183, 272, 280.

H. van der Kooy en J. de Leeuwe, Sarphati. Een biografie, Amsterdam/Antwerpen (Atlas) 2001, p. 73, 118, 120, 130, 139, 142-143, 150, 162, 219, 247.

Flip Bool e.a. (red.), Nieuwe geschiedenis van de fotografie in Nederland. Dutch Eyes, Zwolle (Waanders i.s.m. Stichting Fotografie in Nederland) 2007, p. 66, 76 (idem Engelse editie: A critical history of photography in the Netherlands. Dutch Eyes).

L. Gompes en M. Ligtelijn, Spiegel van Amsterdam. Geschiedenis van Felix Meritis, Amsterdam (Stichting Felix Meritis/Rozenberg Publishers) 2007, p. 129-130.

Hans Rooseboom, De schaduw van de fotograaf. Positie en status van een nieuw beroep, 1839-1889, Leiden (Primavera Pers) 2008, p. 10, 224, 242, 285.

S. Asser, First Light. Photography & Astronomy/Fotografie & Astronomie, Amsterdam (Huis Marseille/Architectura & Natura Press) 2010, p. 70, 105.

Anneke van Veen, De eerste foto’s van Amsterdam 1845-1875, Bussum (THOTH) 2010, p. 15-17, 19, 35, 73, 75, 79, 81, 83, 123, 143, 187 (met foto’s) (idem Engelse editie: The First Photographs of Amsterdam 1845-1875).


in Amsterdamsche Courant:

(alleen vermeldingen die gebruikt zijn voor dit artikel)

Anoniem, Wetenschappelijk Nieuws, 19 januari 1852.

Anoniem, Binnenland, 15 april 1853.

Anoniem, Gemeente-Raad. Vergadering van Woensdag 10 Januarij 1855, 12 januari 1855.

Anoniem, Een blik op de Tentoonstelling van Photographie en Héliographie, geopend in de zalen der maatschappij Arti & Amicitiae, 5 juni 1855.

Anoniem, Binnenland, 18 september 1856.

Anoniem, Binnenland, 21 april 1859.


in De Volksvlijt. Tijdschrift voor nijverheid, landbouw, handel en scheepvaart:

(alleen vermeldingen die gebruikt zijn voor dit artikel)

S. Sarphati, Het Paleis voor Volksvlijt te Amsterdam, 1859, p. 6.

Anoniem, Het Paleis voor Volksvlijt te Amsterdam. Verslag der achtste Algemeene Vergadering van deelhebbers, 1863, p. 382.

Anoniem, Het Paleis voor Volksvlijt te Amsterdam. I. De opening van het paleis op dinsdag den 16den Augustus 1864, 1864, p. 291.

Anoniem, Het Paleis voor Volksvlijt te Amsterdam. I. Verslag der tiende algemeene vergadering van deelhebbers, 1865, p. 192.

W. [= A.C. Wertheim], Mr. Jan Adriaan van Eyk, 1887, p. 63-64.


in Bijblad tot het tijdschrift De Volksvlijt:

(alleen vermeldingen die gebruikt zijn voor dit artikel)

Anoniem, Paleis voor Volksvlijt. Algemeene Nationale Tentoonstelling in 1866, 1866, p. 21.

Anoniem, Wereldtentoonstelling van voortbrengselen van Landbouw, Nijverheid en Kunst te Parijs, 1866, p. 21.

Anoniem, Wereld-Tentoonstelling te Parijs in 1867, 1866, p. 67.

Anoniem, Paleis voor Volksvlijt. Algemeene Nationale Tentoonstelling van Nijverheid en Kunst in 1866, 1866, p. 83.

Anoniem, Plegtige uitreiking van de medailles aan de bekroonden op de

Bloemententoonstelling van 14-19 april 1866, 1866, p. 118-119.

Anoniem, Algemeene Tentoonstelling van Nederlandsche Nijverheid en Kunst te Amsterdam, 1866, p. 134.

Anoniem, Algemeene vergadering van aandeelhouders, 1866, p. 140.

Anoniem, Wetenschappelijke voordragten, 1867, p. 2.

Anoniem, Paleis voor Volksvlijt. Algemeene vergadering van aandeelhouders, 1867, p. 48.

Anoniem, Paleis voor Volksvlijt. Algemeene vergadering van aandeelhouders, 1868, p. 40.


Amicitia, Leiden, 1827-1831.

Doctrina et Amicitia, Amsterdam, 1833-1887 (erelid 1852-1887).

Maatschappij Felix Meritis, afdeling Natuurkunde, 1845-1855 (erelid Maatschappij Felix Meritis 1855-1887).

Bataafsch Genootschap voor Proefondervindelijke Wijsbegeerte, Rotterdam (erelid 1848-1887).

Provinciaal-Utrechtsch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen, vanaf 1851.

Directie Vereniging voor Volksvlijt, later Paleis voor Volksvlijt, 1852-1868.

Correspondentschap La Lumière, vanaf 1853.

Redactie De Volksvlijt. Tijdschrift voor nijverheid, landbouw, handel en scheepvaart, 1854-1887.

Commissie voor het Industrieel Onderwijs, 1855.

Jury voor de Internationale Tentoonstelling voor Photographie en Héliographie, Amsterdam, 1855.

Jury voor de Internationale Tentoonstelling voor Photographie en Heliographie, Amsterdam, 1858.

Natuurkundig Genootschap, Wageningen (erelid 1860-1887).

Hoofdcommissie voor de International Exhibition in Londen, 1861-1862.

Jury voor de International Exhibition in Londen, afdeling Nijverheid, 1862.

Commissie van Toezicht op het Middelbaar Onderwijs, Amsterdam, 1863-na 1870.

Redactie Tijdschrift voor Photographie, ten dienste van photographen, schilders, lithographen, boekdrukkers, militairen, graveurs en dilettanten in de kunst van het photographeren 1864-1866.

Hoofdcommissie voor de Internationale Tentoonstelling van Schone Kunsten toegepast op Industrie, Amsterdam, 1865.

Hoofdcommissie voor de Exposition Universelle in Parijs, 1865-1867.

Hoofdcommissie voor de Algemeene Tentoonstelling van Nederlandsche Nijverheid en Kunst, Amsterdam, 1866.

Vereeniging ter Bevordering van Fabriek- en Handwerksnijverheid, 1869.


1862 Eervolle vermelding (klasse XIV), International Exhibition, Londen

1863 Ridder der Orde van de Nederlandsche Leeuw.

1866 Commandeur der Orde van de Eikenkroon.

1867 1 Bronzen en 2 zilveren medailles (voor bewezen diensten), Exposition Universelle, Parijs.


1855 (g) Amsterdam, Arti & Amicitiae, Internationale Tentoonstelling van Photographie en Heliographie.

1858 (g) Amsterdam, Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt, Internationale Tentoonstelling van Photographie en Heliographie.

1859 (g) Parijs, Palais de Champs Élysées, Troisième Exposition de la Société Française de Photographie.

1860 (g) Amsterdam, Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt, Internationale Tentoonstelling van Photographie, Heliographie, enz.

1861 (g) Parijs, Palais de l’Industrie, Quatrième Exposition de la Société Française de Photographie.

1862 (g) Amsterdam, Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt, Internationale Tentoonstelling van Photographie, enz.

1862 (g) Londen, (South Kensington), International Exhibition.

1863 (g) Parijs, Palais de l’Industrie, Cinquième Exposition de la Société Française de Photographie.

1865 (g) Amsterdam, Paleis voor Volksvlijt, Internationale Tentoonstelling van Schone Kunsten toegepast op Industrie.

1989 (g) Antwerpen, Museum voor Fotografie, “… door de enkele werking van het licht …”. Introductie en integratie van de fotografie in België en Nederland 1839-1860.

1989 (g) Eindhoven, Museum Kempenland, “… door de enkele werking van het licht …”. Introductie en integratie van de fotografie in België en Nederland 1839-1860.

2010 (g) Amsterdam, Stadsarchief Amsterdam, De eerste foto’s van Amsterdam 1845-1875.


Amsterdam, Bibliotheek van de Universiteit van Amsterdam (Bijzondere Collecties en Reveil Archief).

Amsterdam, familie Croockewit.

Amsterdam, Stadsarchief (o.a. Archief van de Maatschappij van Verdiensten onder de zinspreuk Felix Meritis, 1777-1889, Archieven van scholarchen, curatoren en rector van de Latijnse school, curatoren van de openbare gymnasia en van de rector van het Stedelijk of Barlaeusgymnasium, 1682-1960 en Curatoren van het Athenaeum, 1811, 1847-1877 en Archief van de familie Wertheim, (19de-20ste eeuw).

Amsterdam, Anneke van Veen (ongepubliceerd artikel: H.J. Zuidervaart en R.H. van Gent, Between Rhetoric and Reality. Instrumental practices at the astronomical observatory of the Amsterdam Society ‘Felix Meritis’, 1786-1889, 2008).

Den Haag, Nationaal Archief (Archieven van het Keizerlijk Gerechtshof [1811-1813]; Hooggerechtshof der Verenigde Nederlanden, [1813-1838], (1807) 1811-1838 (1845).

Utrecht, Utrechts Archief (Archief Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut (KNMI) te De Bilt, 1854-1951).


Amsterdam, J.W.O. Croockewit.

Amsterdam, S. Kiesel.

Amsterdam, Stadsmuseum.

Eindhoven, familie Coppens.