Gevaert, Lieven (& Cie)



Person (Male)

Alternative name or descriptor

  • Société franco-belge pour la fabrication de produits photographiques

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules


  • Professional / Connected


Life dates

Antwerp, 1868 - The Hague [NL], 1935


1889 * - 1894 / Anvers, Montignystraat, 159
Lievenus Franciscus Ludovicus, ° 28.5.1868; + 2.2.1935. Born into a working class family, he completed several photographic apprenticeships. From January until August 1886 he lived in Charleroi where he worked at Prosper Bevierre’s studio using Van Monckhoven’s carbon emulsions. He probably then worked for one or more Antwerp photographers. At the end of 1887 he was engaged as an operator and retoucher by Marguerite Hareux (widow of Victor Daveluy) in Bruges, then by her brother-in-law Edouard Daveluy (see that name). He collaborated on Daveluy’s urban views which received an award in Barcelona in 1888, which is the reason why the medal awarded was at one time reproduced by Gevaert on his own mounts. He stayed with Daveluy until 1889, living in Bruges until March. A persistent rumour has Gevaert completing an apprenticeship at Henkart & Laoureux in Liège.
Back in Antwerp in March 1889 he opened a studio with the help of his widowed mother, Maria Theresia Bruynseels (1840-1919). He was a photographer on porcelain (opalotypy), but this activity was only one aspect of his numerous activities in the field. For a possible collaboration in opalotypy, see entry on Jan Tresseniers (- Norman). Gevaert is said to have tried to manufacture plates about 1889. The "Antwerpia" plates have been attributed to him (between 1888 and 1891, but this is a mere supposition). He manufactured photographic paper by means of a small machine he invented himself which applied emulsion continuously. Papers manufactured: Calcium, 1891; Albumen, 1894; Blue Star, 1895; Gevaert Mat, 1903; Ronix, 1904; Ridax, Casoidine and Ortho Brom, 1905. In 1891 he recruited his first collaborator, Henri Kuijpers.
1894 */ Anvers - Kiel, Schijfstraat, 22
1894 * - 1896 / Anvers, Anselmostraat, 97
On 28.6.1894, Gevaert founded the company "L. Gevaert & Cie", the starting capital of which amounted to 20,000 francs. Chairman of the management board was Antwerp businessman Armand Segers (° Antwerp, 15.8.1848; + Antwerp, 27.4.1925). The factory was situated in Anselmostraat from 15.7.1894 until 30.6.1896. Printed CV mounts, etc. He recruited Edward Van Breedam (° Antwerp, 6.9.1876; + Antwerp - Mortsel, 4.3.1961) on 1.5.1894. Sales in the Netherlands from 1894, in France and Germany in 1895. In 1895, opening of a sales outlet in Paris. In 1896 - 1897, subsidiary in Paris (Pierre Koep, then Henri Brunet); branch in Paris: Rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin, 178. Henri Brunet's title was "director for France" in 1913 when the Paris branch was situated at Boulevard de Strasbourg, 12.
1896 * - 1912 Mortsel - Vieux-Dieu, Heilig Kruisstraat [= Kerkstraat]
"Franco-Belgian company for the manufacture of photographic products". In 1896 it employed 12 people. In 1905 it was the biggest manufacturer of photographic paper in Belgium. In 1901 an agency was opened in Vienna (Carl Hackl, Austria-Hungary) then in 1906 in Berlin (Carl Hackl), Milan (Kodato Rossi) and Moscow (E. Beaumont). Gevaert occupied the 'Villa Jenny' in the same street from 1897 until May 1905, then moved to Leopoldslei 168 (now Belgiëlei). Instigator of the "Gevaert International Photographic Competition" in 1912. Prize money of 25 000 francs helped to attract over 6 000 submissions by the closing date of 15.11.1912. A prize exhibition was held in the municipal reception hall on the Meir in Antwerp, 1-15.2.1913.
1905 * - 1935 + Mortsel - Luithagen, Septestraat, 9 (factory) & 10
The new installations here were ceremoniously inaugurated on 24.6.1905. "The buildings in the new factory occupy over two hectares of floor space. Kilometres of paper pass through a series of mechanical installations, chemical baths, are rolled, unrolled and hung in a hall 55 metres in length and then returned to their starting point, completely dry. And all this is done automatically" (La Métropole, 25.6.1905). Professional member of the "Club d'amateurs photographes de Belgique" ("Gevaert & Cie") in 1908.
A letterhead dated 2.3.1914 mentions branches and depots in Paris [F], Berlin [D], Vienna [AT], London [GB], Kopenhagen [DA], Milan [IT], Moscow [RU] and Barcelona [ES]. In 1920 the company adopted the name "Gevaert Photo-Producten N.V." Gevaert was a shareholder in the company "Lichtbeelden en Kinema", founded in Antwerp on 12.3.1912 for the commercial exploitation of the moving image. Lieven Gevaert was still a member of the ABP in 1922. He died in The Hague [NL] where he had gone to spend a few days resting. The Lieven Gevaert archive is now managed by FOMU - Museum of Photography, Antwerp.


1889 * - 1894 / Anvers, Montignystraat, 159
1894 */ Anvers - Kiel, Schijfstraat, 22
1894 * - 1896 / Anvers, Anselmostraat, 97
1896 * - 1912 Mortsel - Vieux-Dieu, Heilig Kruisstraat [= Kerkstraat]
1905 * - 1935 + Mortsel - Luithagen, Septestraat, 9 (factory) & 10


Brussels, 1891 (bronze medal); Antwerp, 1892 (transfers on celluloid and ceramics); Antwerp, 1894; Louvain, 1896; Paris, 1900; Liège, 1905 (Diplôme de grand prix); Milan, 1906 (Diplôme de grand prix); Dresden, 1909 ("Gevaert-Werke, Direktion Carl Hackl", Berlin & Vienna); Antwerp, 1910 (samples of various papers). Brussels, 1910 (Diplôme de grand prix); Brussels, 1911 (series of prints on various papers); Ghent, 1913 (branded printing-out and developing-out papers; hors concours).
On promotional material: Moscow, 1907 (grand prix).

Genres / subject matter



(MEEÙS, John et al.). Lieven Gevaert. De mens en zijn werk. Gedenkboek uitgegeven ter gelegenheid van het 60-jarig bestaan van de N.V. Gevaert Photo-Producten. Leuven, 1955, 271 pp.
(ROOSENS, Laurent & VAN DEUREN, Karel). Lieven Gevaert 1868-1935. Herdenking van de 50e verjaardag van zijn overlijden. Mortsel, 1985, 39 pp.
ROOSENS, Laurent, JANSSENS, Willem & NOOYENS, Frans. Arbeid Adelt. Een geschiedenis van de door Lieven Gevaert opgerichte fotografische industrie, I, de pioniersjaren, 1894-1920. Mortsel, Agfa-Gevaert, 1993, 293 pp.



Affiliated entity

Association belge de Photographie

Type of affiliation

Member of

Dates of affiliation

1891 - 1914

Description of relationship


Record source



Level of detail

Dates of creation/revision

SFJ revised 24.1.2017, 30.7.2017, 4.5.2018, 28.2.2019, 5.3.2019 & 18.4.2019; SFJ revised 11.5.2019, 5.6.2019, 21.11.2020, 6.12.2020, 20.1.2021, 2.3.2021 & 18.4.2021 based on information supplied by M. Demaeght; SFJ revised 18.6.2023, 23.1.2024 & 13.6.2024 based on information supplied by M. Demaeght; MD revised 18.1.2021, 27.6.2022, 13.3.2023, 9.5.2023 & 20.2.2024




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