Calphas, Athanase (Athanasios)



Person (Male)

Alternative name or descriptor

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules


  • Professional


Life dates

Constantinople [TR], 1837 - Paris [F], 1915


1864 * - 1865 / Bruxelles, Rue d'Assaut, 24
Athanase Constantin, ° 10.1.1837; + 10.10.1915. Sometimes spelled "Calfa" or "Kalphas". Son of Greek-orthodox architect Constantin Calphas. He had worked in Paris and in Athens where he married a Belgian, Henrica Maria Van Beneden. He was recorded as a salesman aged 25 resident in Brussels in August 1858. Note that his declared age in Belgium made him some three or four years older than the precise date of birth given in France. Returning to Athens in late 1859, probably via Paris, he opened a portrait studio and soon afterwards took as his assistant Petros Moraites (1835-1905) who went on to become the best known photographer in the Greek capital. Children born in Greece in 1860 and 1861, and in Constantinople in 1863. Arrived at this address on 11.3.1864. He left for Antwerp on 1.3.1865.
1864 * - 1865 / Anvers, Klapdorp, 30
Registered here in March 1864 and recorded as linked to the "Association Photographique" (see that entry).
1865 * / Anvers, Marché Saint-Jacques, 69
A son was born at this address on 11.4.1865.
1865 * - 1869 / Anvers, Rue Leys, 31 (= Rue de la Station)
Predecessor: Delehaye & Sluyts # (Station)  Successor: Calphas & Lints (Station)
Patent of 16.11.1868 for an "enlarger of photographic negatives operating in all weathers without sunshine". On CVs at this address silver and bronze medals are mentioned, in 1859, probably those he received at the Olympia Exhibition in Athens where he may have displayed prints of classical Greek statuary. A fire destroyed the studio during the night of 21-22.1.1869. Calphas was insured for the estimated 3000 frs damage.
1868 ca - 1871 Malines, Rue du Bruel, 33
There are CVs bearing the addresses in Antwerp, Rue Leys, and Malines.
1869 * - 1871 / Anvers, Place de Meir, 89 or 26 (= Maison du Gymnase)
Successor: Verryck - Fleetwood Antoni & Cie
He established himself at this address after the fire that destroyed his studio in Rue de la Station/Rue Leys. See Calphas & Lints. He was recorded as a photographer aged 37 resident in Antwerp at the wedding of his sister-in-law in Brussels on 21.1.1871. Left for Brussels later in 1871 after the death of his first wife in childbirth on 17.2.1871.
Calphas remarried in Lille [F] on 20.11.1872 and spent a couple of years in Northern France before settling permanently in Paris. He may already have operated in Lille [F], Faubourg Notre-Dame, 7, in c. 1867, and there are CVs bearing the address of Rue Esquermoise, 9 dating from the early 1870s. Calphas and his family were certainly living in Tourcoing [F], Rue de Lille, 51 where a daughter was born on 7.1.1873, and in Rue Nationale, 74 in c. 1874-1875.
Thereafter, studios in Paris, Boulevard Montparnasse, 166 where a daughter was born on 18.6.1875, and Avenue du Maine, 178 where a son was born on 14.5.1879. At the wedding of a daughter from his first marriage held in Brussels - Schaerbeek on 27.5.1884, Calphas was recorded as a photographer resident in Paris. Other studio addresses recorded are Chaussée du Maine, 130 in the 1880s, Rue Brezin, 15 where another son was born on 22.12.1882, Avenue des Gobelins, 43 in the 1880s and Boulevard Arago, 31 in the early 1890s. A fifth son was born at Boulevard Saint-Marcel, 84 on 18.10.1891. "Calfas, known as Calphas", Place d'Italie, 20 registered a patent on 18.4.1899 for "a new type of photograph imitating vitrified enamel or porcelain". He was still active at this address in April 1901 and still living there in 1908. At the time of his death in the Salpêtrière hospital, Calphas was recorded as a pensioner.


1864 * - 1865 / Bruxelles, Rue d'Assaut, 24
1864 * - 1865 / Anvers, Klapdorp, 30
1865 * / Anvers, Marché Saint-Jacques, 69
1865 * - 1869 / Anvers, Rue Leys, 31 (= Rue de la Station)
1868 ca - 1871 Malines, Rue du Bruel, 33
1869 * - 1871 / Anvers, Place de Meir, 89 or 26 (= Maison du Gymnase)


Genres / subject matter



VERHOOSELE, Françoise. "De Fotografenfamilie Calphas", Van Mensen en Dingen - Tijdschrift voor volkscultuur in Vlanderen, vol. 15 (2017), no. 1-2, pp. 7-32.
"Athanase Calphas", (accessed 22.7.2019)




Record source


Identity of institution

FotoMuseum Provincie Antwerpen


Level of detail

Dates of creation/revision

MCC revised 21.5.2018 & 22.7.2019; SFJ revised 21.5.2018, 5.6.2018 & 1.1.2019; SFJ revised 8.8.2020 based on information supplied by M. Demaeght




Maintenance notes