Zeyen, Léonard Hubert



Person (Male)

Alternative name or descriptor

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules


  • Professional


Life dates

Schimmert [Limburg, NL], 1840 - Liège, 1907


1868 * - 1875 / Liège, Rue Saint-Séverin, 104
° 29.3.1840; + 21.2.1907. Spelled "Zeijen" on birth record. One of the most talented portraitists of his generation. A coloured portrait on salted paper taken in 1859 is attributed in manuscript to "Zeyen, phot. à Liège". Studio at this address opened on 1.4.1868. "Open every day from 8 in the morning until 6 in the evening" (La Meuse, 7.4.1868). In 1868, Zeyen completed an ambitious commission, unique in the Belgian context, to take a set of portraits of the whole workforce, both white-collar and blue-collar, at the mining firm "La Vieille-Montagne". Zeyen's nearly 200 CV portraits include 85 of manual workers with their tools and 25 group portraits taken on the factory floor. A full set is preserved in the "Maison de la Métallurgie et de l'Industrie de Liège". In 1873 Zeyen was sent as a delegate of the Belgian government to the International Exhibition in Vienna and drew up a report on the exhibits. Founder member of the ABP.
1874 - 1882 / Liège, Place Saint-Jean, 1
Coexisted for a short while with the studio in Rue Saint-Séverin (La Meuse, 25.4.1874). In Ghent in 1880 he exhibited a court scene in which he played all the roles: judge, lawyer, defendant, gendarme and spectator. A commentator wrote: "The crowd presses in front of the courtroom scene by Mr Zeyen. What laughter! Everyone brightens up. Just try and make the public understand how that was achieved! All the faces are those of the exhibitor himself (Bulletin de l'ABP, 1879-1880, p. 133).
1878 Liège, Rue Firquet, 2
1882 * - 1904 / Liège, Boulevard de la Sauvenière, 137<83-00> then 141<01-04>
Successor: Delvaux Jules
"Enlargements with electric light". Patent of 15.3.1886 for "a photographic vignetting board". Patent of 20.6.1887 [jointly with L. Attout] for "a photographic camera" [box consisting of two parallel compartments, one being the magazine, the other the camera]. Zeyen was active in artistic cercles. Portrait of Félicien Rops in 1893. He was depicted in various media by his artist friends: in an engraving "Hubert Zeyen at work" by Adrien de Witte (1850-1935), 1882; in an oil painting by Charles Theunissen (1871-1948), 1899; in a terra-cotta bust by Léon Mignon (1847-1898). Although Zeyen appears to have retired and transferred the studio to Jules Delvaux in 1904, he was still listed in the directories here until 1906.


1868 * - 1875 / Liège, Rue Saint-Séverin, 104
1874 - 1882 / Liège, Place Saint-Jean, 1
1878 Liège, Rue Firquet, 2
1882 * - 1904 / Liège, Boulevard de la Sauvenière, 137<83-00> then 141<01-04>


Brussels, 1875; Paris, 1876; Ghent, "Chambre syndicale provinciale des arts industriels", 1878; Brussels, 1880; Ghent, 1880 (silver medal and diploma); Brussels, 1883; Antwerp, 1885 (silver medal); Brussels, 1888; Louvain, 1888; Paris, 1889 (silver medal); Liège, 1892; Brussels, 1896; Tournai, 1897 (court scene previously exhibited in Ghent in 1880); Brussels, 1898; Ghent, 1899; Antwerp, 1900 ABP; Liège, 1900; Liège, 1902.

Genres / subject matter



RUESS, Céline & STELMES, Anne. Vies de Zinc. Portraits de travailleurs, images d’entreprise. Liège, 2012, 94 pp.
BALaT - Zeyen, Hubert-Léonard: http://balat.kikirpa.be/people.php?priref=123188



Affiliated entity

Association belge de Photographie

Type of affiliation

Member of

Dates of affiliation

1874 - 1907

Description of relationship


Record source



Level of detail

Dates of creation/revision

SFJ revised 25.4.2017, 15.10.2017 & 17.11.2017; MCC revised 25.1.2019; SFJ revised 27.2.2019; SFJ revised 5.12.2019, 9.8.2020, 23.12.2020, 19.3.2021& 29.4.2021 & 2.6.2021 based on information supplied by M. Demaeght; SFJ revised 26.7.2021 partly based on information supplied by Peter Eyckerman; MD revised 22.4.2020 & 4.3.2024




Maintenance notes