Misonne, Léonard



Person (Male)

Alternative name or descriptor

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules


  • Amateur


Life dates

Gilly, 1870 - Gilly, 1943


1891 * - 1943 + Gilly
° 1.7.1870; + 14.9.1943. A student at the "Université Catholique de Louvain" from 1887-1888 until 1892-1893, he was awarded a degree in mining engineering in 1895. He appears never to have practised that professsion and devoted himself entirely to photography from 1896. From 1896 until 1900, trips to Germany, Switzerland, Italy, to London and Paris (where Constant Puyo would teach him the oil process in 1910). As a figurehead of the pictorialist movement in Belgium, he very soon acquired an international reputation for his atmospheric landscapes, a genre that he was to exploit throughout his life. He practised the bromoil process. One of his photographs was published in "Le sentiment d'art en photographie" (see Liorel) under the pseudonym Helfenstein. Misonne’s work is characterised by a masterly treatment of light and atmospheric conditions. His images express poetic qualities, but sometimes slip into an anecdotal sentimentality. Remained prolifically active as a photographer and exhibitor throughout the interwar period.


1891 * - 1943 + Gilly


Berlin, 1896 (silver medal); Brussels, 1896; Hamburg, 1896; Lille, 1896; Louvain, 1896; Courtrai, 1897; Brussels, 1898; Hamburg, 1898; Munich, 1898; Berlin, 1899; Ghent, 1899; Hamburg, 1899; Leipzig, 1899; Antwerp, 1900 ABP; Saint Petersburg, artistic slides competition, 1900; Mons, 1901; Brussels, 1902; Paris, 1902; Antwerp, 1903 ABP; Dresden, 1904 (from the Juhl collection); The Hague, 1904; London RPS, 1904; Louvain, 1904; Paris, 1904; Genoa, 1905 (gold medal, second class); Paris, 1905; Vienna, 1905; Vienna, 1905 CAM; Paris, 1906; London, 1907; Amsterdam, 1908; Dresden, 1909; London, 1909; London, 1910; Ghent, 1913; Liège, 1914.

Genres / subject matter



Léonard Misonne. Tableaux photographiques. Brussels, (1926), (40) pp. With 29 illustrations.
Léonard Misonne. Vienna, Die Galerie, (1935), unpaginated, ill. With 24 plates (limited to 1,000 copies signed by the artist).
DUVIVIER, Ch. Léonard Misonne. Son oeuvre, sa méthode. Brussels, (1937), (23) pp. with 22 illustrations.
MISONNE, Maurice. Introduction à l'oeuvre photographique de Léonard Misonne. Brussels - Auderghem, 1971, 77 pp. with 26 reproductions of photographs and a facsimile autograph.
SCHWABIK, Marian & MISONNE, Maurice. Léonard Misonne. Ein Fotograf aus Belgien 1870-1943. Seebruck am Chiemsee, 1976, (96) pp.
POLAIN, Dominique. Lumière sur Léonard Misonne Photographe - Paysagiste. Brussels, 1987, 142 pp. (Degree dissertation, Faculté de Philosophie et Lettres, Université Libre de Bruxelles).
DEBANTERLÉ, René, MÉLON, Marc-Emmanuel & POLAIN, Dominique. Autour de Léonard Misonne. Charleroi, 1990, 112 pp.
ANDRIES, Pool & AUQUIER, Yves. La couleur du temps. Photographies de Léonard Misonne, Paris, 1991, 112 pp.
VAUSORT, Marc. "Léonard Misonne et le pictorialisme en Belgique" in La photographie pictorialiste en Europe 1888-1918. Paris & Rennes, 2005, pp. 161-179.



Affiliated entity

Association belge de Photographie

Type of affiliation

Member of

Dates of affiliation

1896 - 1914

Description of relationship


Record source



Level of detail

Dates of creation/revision

SFJ revised 7.9.2017, 14.2.2018, 27.2.2019, 5.3.2019 & 17.4.2019; SFJ revised 24.4.2020 based on information supplied by M. Demaeght; SFJ revised 22.10.2020 & 1.2.2021; SFJ revised 17.4.2021 based on information supplied by M. Demaeght




Maintenance notes