Buffa, Joseph



Person (Male)

Alternative name or descriptor

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules


  • Professional / Connected


Life dates

Pieve Tesino [IT], 1801 or 1802 - Bruges, 1864


1843 * - 1851 / Bruges, Philipstockstraat 5
° 28.6.1801 (° 30.1.1802 in another source); + 10.8.1864. Optician. Arrived from Malines on 1.4.1829. At that time he was a print dealer. He moved to the above address in 1832. In 1839, he was collecting subscriptions for a still-born "Société du daguerréotype". In 1840 he sold the album edited by Charles Philippon: "Paris et ses environs reproduits par le daguerréotype" (Journal de Bruges, 4.7.1840).
By March 1843, Buffa had turned to daguerreotyping and opened the fourth permanent studio in Belgium after those of Brussels and Liège. The first advertisement for his "Daguerreotype Establishment" appears at this date (Le Nouvelliste de Flandres, 25.3.1843). As early as that same year, an English guide cited "the establishment of Mr Buffa, who blends the profession of an Optician with that of a Daguerreotypist, the trade of a Printseller, with that of a Music-seller..." (H.R. Addison, "Belgium as she is", Brussels & Leipzig, C. Muquardt, 1843, p.39). On an advertising card, "Daguerreotype Establishment, Portraits and groups, Executed in ten seconds. J. Buffa, Optician. Publisher, Print dealer, Near the Grand Place, Bruges". In 1847 he exhibited photographs by Delanoy (see that name), at that time in Bruges.
1851 * - 1853 / Bruges, Vlamingstraat 2
Recorded in the Ghent population register as resident in Rue du Soleil, 3 from 3.12.1851 to 19.11.1852. This was Joseph Pelizzaro's premises and Buffa seems to have been his temporary successor as a printseller at this address before returning to Bruges.
1853 * - 1864 + Bruges, Rue des Pierres, 2 [Steenstraat]
Arrived at this address on 9.11.1853. He had already lived here between 1829 and 1832. Advertised in January 1859 the opening of a new photographic studio in February (supplying photographs from collodion negatives and ambrotypes). He was also established in Ostend from 8.7.1854 to 31.12.1856, but apparently only for the publication of prints. Final advertisement for "J. Buffa, optician, photographer, Grande Place, Bruges" (his premises on Rue des Pierres were located just round the corner from the Grand-Place): "Price of portraits known as cartes de visites [sic]: 6 fr. per dozen, 4 fr. per half-dozen" (Journal de Bruges, 15.4.1864).
After Buffa’s death, his nephew Joseph Tessaro, painter and lithographer, closed the shops in Bruges and Ostend and returned to Italy. An auction of Buffa's property and effects on 1.3.1865 included a "half-plate photographic camera" (Gazette van Brugge, 20.2.1865).


1843 * - 1851 / Bruges, Philipstockstraat 5
1851 * - 1853 / Bruges, Vlamingstraat 2
1853 * - 1864 + Bruges, Rue des Pierres, 2 [Steenstraat]


Bruges, Academy of Fine Arts, 1843 (nine daguerreotypes); Bruges, exhibition of Bruges industry, 1846 (four daguerreotype views).

Genres / subject matter



JOSEPH, Steven F. & SCHWILDEN, Tristan. A l'aube de la photographie en Belgique: Guillaume Claine (1811-1869) et son cercle. Bruxelles, 1991, p. 17.
JOSEPH, Steven. “I « Thirty-Niners » in Belgio. Pionieri della Fotografia” in FIETTA, Elda & CLAES, Marie-Christine (ed.), Imprenditori dell’imagine. Le vicende dei Tesini in Belgio (Atti del simposio internazionale « I Tesini in Belgio »), Pieve Tesino, Museo Per Via, Quaderno 2, 2016, p. 93.
CLAES, Marie-Christine. Répertoire des Tesini - Buffa : http://balat.kikirpa.be/tesini/fam/buffa.pdf




Record source



Level of detail

Dates of creation/revision

SFJ revised 29.6.2017 & 29.1.2018; MCC revised 21.5.2018; SFJ revised 30.9.2018; MCC revised 25.1.2019 & 4.1.2019; SFJ revised 4.10.2020 & 17.4.2021 based on information supplied by M. Demaeght




Maintenance notes