Ghémar, Louis



Person (Male)

Alternative name or descriptor

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules


  • Professional


Life dates

Lannoy [Nord, F], 1819 - Brussels, 1873


1857 * - 1859 / Bruxelles, Rue de l'Ecuyer, 27
Predecessor: Ghémar & Severin Successor: Ghémar Frères
Louis Joseph, ° 8.1.1819; + 11.5.1873. Painter and lithographer. Pupil of Paul Lauters. From 1838 he supplied lithographs for the Belgian edition of "Charivari". "Album d'Ostende" in 1841 (lithographs by E. Manche and L. Ghémar). In 1849 he emigrated to Scotland where he ran a lithographic business, in partnership with Emil Ernst Friedrich Schenck (1811-1885) in Edinburgh. On his return to Belgium at the end of 1854 he began his photographic career in partnership with Robert Severin.
According to invitations to the studio opening, it operated here from May 1857. First advertisements appeared in the press in November 1857 (Journal de Bruxelles). In 1858 he published an album "L'oeuvre de Madou", 12 salt print reproductions of the work of the great Belgian graphic artist. A close friendship arose between Ghémar and the Parisian photographer Nadar (see that name): they travelled together to Switzerland in 1868 and corresponded for several years. Voignier records that Ghémar collaborated with the Parisian photographer Louis Crette on a portrait of the actress Rachel in 1858.
1862 */ Tournai, Rue Saint-Georges, 1
Resided in Tournai from 5.5.1862 until July. Photographed the castle "La Chartreuse" in Chercq in July. "Mr Ghémar having to be back in Brussels on 1 July, he announces that he will only take portraits until 21 inst., wishing to spend the rest of his stay in Tournai taking views in town and the surrounding area" (Le Courrier de l'Escaut, 20.6.1862).


1857 * - 1859 / Bruxelles, Rue de l'Ecuyer, 27
1862 */ Tournai, Rue Saint-Georges, 1


Genres / subject matter



ABEELS, Gustave. "Louis Ghémar. Een machtig fotograaf, die tot de verbeelding spreekt en bewondering opwekt..." Misset Foto Magazine, vol. 1, n° 2, 1980, pp. 8-10.
VANDEVELDE, Wilfried. "Louis Ghémar Frères", Photohistorisch Tijdschrift, vol. 9, 1986, pp. 14-18.
Louis Ghémar 1819-1873, Photographe du Roi. Ieper, Stedelijk Museum, 1992, 9 + (vii) pp.
DEWILDE, Jan. De salon van Louis Ghémar. Een fotoreportage van de Algemene Tentoonstelling van Schone Kunsten te Brussel in 1863. Ieper, 1996, 46 pp.
CLAES, Marie-Christine & ROMMELAERE, Catherine. "L'album Ghémar des funérailles de Léopold Ier (1866) : histoire de l'édition d'un reportage « photographique »", Bulletin de l'Institut royal du Patrimoine artistique, n° 31, 2004-2005, pp. 159-204.
WANSON, Isabelle. "Louis Ghémar, Assainissement de la Senne" in Cent trésors de la Bibliothèque royale de Belgique, Brussels, 2005, pp. 198-199.
TERLINCK, Anne. "Louis Joseph Ghémar, Henriette, Rosalie et Sophie Ghémar, Lannoy – Ath – Bruxelles (1819-1889)", Annales du Cercle royal d'histoire et d'archéologie d'Ath et de la région et musées athois, vol. 62, 2010, pp. 135-197.
VAN DEN ENDE, Eliane. "Louis Ghémar, les méandres de sa vie" in Zwanze, fantaisie & burlesque de Louis Ghémar à James Ensor, Namur, Musée Félicien Rops, 2018, pp. 17-94.

BALaT - Ghémar, Louis-Joseph:




Record source



Level of detail

Dates of creation/revision

SFJ revised 25.1.2017, 4.5.2018, 15.11.2018 & 3.12.2018. MCC revised 25.1.2019.; MD revised 4.6.2020; SFJ revised 8.6.2020 based on information supplied by M. Demaeght; SFJ revised 30.1.2023; SFJ revised 9.3.2024 based on information published by Bernard Desmaele & Éric Rigaut




Maintenance notes