Ghemar Frères (XIX) - Leopold I, King of the Belgians & Marie Louise d'Orleans Queen of the Belgians

Ghemar Frères (XIX) - Leopold I, King of the Belgians & Marie Louise d'Orleans Queen of the Belgians

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Louis Joseph Ghémar (Lannoy, 8 January 1819 – Brussels, 11 May 1873) was a Belgian painter, lithographer, photographer and caricaturist.

Ghémar was born in Northern France. His father was a teacher. After his death, mother Catherine Horlait returned back to Belgium and she married a teacher of the Collège Royal in Aat. Louis was educate there and also attended the local art Academy. When he was seventeen, he apprenticed with a Brussels-based pioneer of lithography, Paul Lauters.

In 1838 he delivered the plates for a lithography album issued by Joseph Buffa, Album pittoresque de Bruges. The first caricature work that with certainty is his, appeared in Le Charivari Belge of 12 April 1839. He also contributed to the magazine La Renaissance. Chronique des arts et de la littérature.

He resided in Scotland from 1849-1854. He affiliated with Schenk and MacFarlane in Edinburg, where he illustrated a luxury edition of the works of Walter Scott. He also made passages in Aberdeen and Glasgow. He then returned to Belgium. First he settled in Antwerp, where he set up a photography studio with the Dutch Robert Severin. Their Etablissement artistique Ghémar et Severin was located at Hopland 1474. Severin made the photos and Ghémar retouched them and coloured them. Late January 1856 the duo sold their studio to Auguste de Bedts and they moved to Brussels (Schildknaapstraat 27). Ghémar had good connections as a Freemason and could also use a unique extension device with heliostats, [1] perhaps thanks to his inventors friend Désiré Van Monckhoven]

Ghémar submitted eight lithographs to the Paris world exhibition in 1855.

One of the photographic portraits of Leopold I by Ghémar & Severin was taken by prints publishers Simonau & Toovey. It earned them the title Photographes du Roi.

In the stone pressure Trinité photographique, printed in the magazine Uylenspiegel of 13 avril 1856, Félicien Rops introduced him between his colleagues Antoine Dewasme and Robert Severin (Galerie d'Uylenspiegel, no. 11). [3]

In 1858 Ghémar issued the album L'œuvre de Madou, with twelve photographic reproductions of paintings by Jean-Baptiste Madou.

Severin left in 1860 to the Hague and was replaced by Ghémars half brother Léon Louis Auverleaux. They took the company name Ghémar Frères, which would survive the departure of Auverleaux and the death of Ghémar. Photos for business cards turned out to be very wanted and their studio was the most renowned of the capital. In 1862 Ghémar made the portraits of the 80 personalities who attended the Banquet des Misérables offered to Victor Hugo by his publishers Lacroix and Verboeckhoven.

In 1864 he photographed the departure of the Géant, the hot air balloon of his friend Nadar. Later he would accompany him on a trip to Switzerland (1868).

In 1866 Ghémar published an album with 14 photos of the funeral of King Leopold I and the coronation of Leopold II. To do this, he made photomontages of his own clichés, repainted to overcome the problems of orthochromatisme.

Around 1870 he published a series of photos of the Zenne before it was covered, commissioned by the Belgian Public Company. In that same year, he also opened a gallery in art objects.

He died in Brussels on 11 May 1873 and is buried in Laeken, in a mausoleum of sculptor Ernest Carrier-Belleuse.

After the death of Louis Ghémar his firm continued with his name up to 1894. After that, its fund was purchased by Géruzet Frères. His art collection was publicly sold on 9 April 1877 (419 items, of which 97 paintings).

Lot details
Ghemar Freres fotograaf van de Koning Brussel
Title of artwork
LEOPOLD I Koning der Belgen en Koningin
Albumen paper process, Carte de visite
Not signed
Vintage print
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