Van Besten, Alphonse



Person (Male)

Alternative name or descriptor

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules


  • Amateur / Connected


Life dates

Brussels, 1864 - Antwerp - Borgerhout, 1926


1902 - 1914 Anvers - Borgerhout
Sébastien Alphonse, ° 17.11.1864; + 4.2.1926. Person of independent means. Autochromist, particularly known for bucolic compositions and artfully composed groups. His photographs titled "Het voer der kippen" en "Kronkelenden weg" were published in the periodical "Licht" in September 1902. Subsequently participatied in photography competitions organised by the French magazine "Photo Pêle-Mêle" in 1903-1904. Member of the “Cercle d’études photographiques et scientifiques d’Anvers” in 1909-1910. Public projections for local clubs in Antwerp: "Cercle d'études photographiques et scientifiques d'Anvers" in 1910 and "Fotografische Kring Iris", 1910-1912. He resigned as an honorary member of the latter club in March 1912. Fourth prize (50 francs) winner at the Gevaert competition organized during the Brussels International Exposition in 1910.
As a representative of the firm of Lumière & Jougla of Paris and Lyon, he continued to give slide shows around Belgium in 1913 to camera clubs and local sections of the ABP, incorporating around 60 autochromes (La Meuse, 24.10.1913). At his slide show to the Antwerp section of the ABP on 2.6.1913, "he showed successively The Four Seasons, Switzerland, Historical Documents and Paintings, the Ghent "Floralies" [flower show], rounding off with Women and Flowers. Especially in this latter series, Mr Van Besten proves to be an accomplished artist; we admire groups of pretty models posed with art and good taste in the midst of flower beds of all sorts" (Bulletin de l'ABP, 1913, p. 331). As a refugee in the Netherlands during World War I, Van Besten gave slide shows to Dutch photography clubs jointly with his friend and fellow autochromist Aloïs Van Son (see that name).


1902 - 1914 Anvers - Borgerhout


Genres / subject matter



VAN HOOF, Florent. "Belgian Autochromists. Alfonse Van Besten", accessed on 17.2.2018, at:



Affiliated entity

Association belge de Photographie

Type of affiliation

Member of

Dates of affiliation

1910 - 1914

Description of relationship


Record source



Level of detail

Dates of creation/revision

SFJ new 10.8.2017; revised 17.2.2018, partly based on information supplied by Pool Andries; SFJ revised 14.5.2019, 4.6.2020 & 6.8.2020 based on information supplied by M. Demaeght; MD revised 22.2.2021, 23.2.2023, 6.3.2023 & 23.2.2024




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