Alfonse Van Besten: Autochrome Photos (1910s)

Alfonse Van Besten: Autochrome Photos (1910s)
International Photography Grant 2019

Alfonse Van Besten (1865-1926)  was a painter and took full advantage of the possibilities of the new colour process. One can see that many of his autochromes were taken with a “painterly eye” e.g. Musing (Mrs.Van Besten) and Symphony in white. It was evident that he had a very good sense of composition e.g. Musing. Looking through the three bulky trees in the foreground into the scene beyond, the eye is taken to the person above right who is looking to his left. We follow his gaze and finish down on the path. Which flies away to the left and enhances the perspective of the “tableau”. Winter at Brugge unloading barge and Children at play shows that Alfonse Van Besten could also handle large groups compositionally. Not to mention the various romantic poses of ladies and maidens.

During the first World War (1914-1918) he was a refugee in Holland. Together with his friend A. Van Son, another Belgian autochromist and refugee, they gave countless lectures at Dutch photography societies. They were praised for their excellent autochrome work, e.g. on the 16th of April 1915 the photographic society “Meer Licht” from Nymegen (NL) paid an homage to Van Besten for his outstanding autochrome plates. See Homage to Van Besten at Nymegen.

Alfonse Van Besten, Japanesque c. 1913, autochrome 9 x 12

Alfonse Van Besten, Lady on gardenbench with flowers 1912, autochrome 9 x 12

Alfonse Van Besten, Lanciers Armée Belge 1911, autochrome 9 x 12

Alfonse Van Besten, Musing c. 1910, autochrome 9 x 12

Alfonse Van Besten, Musing (Mrs. A. Van Besten) c. 1910, autochrome 9 x 12

Alfonse Van Besten, Nachtegalen Park 1910, autochrome 9 x 12

Alfonse Van Besten, Nero playing the harp c. 1912, autochrome 9 x 12

Alfonse Van Besten, Stagecoaches at Gent c. 1912, autochrome 9 x 12

Alfonse Van Besten, Van Besten painting in his garden 1909, autochrome 9 x 12

Alfonse Van Besten, Washing and bleaching c. 1912, autochrome 9 x 12

Alfonse Van Besten, Children at play c. 1912, autochrome 9 x 12

Alfonse Van Besten, Gardenview c. 1914, autochrome 9 x 12

Alfonse Van Besten, Youth idyll c.1913, autochrome 9×12

Alfonse Van Besten, Groupe antique composition c. 1912, autochrome 9 x 12

Alfonse Van Besten, Farmers on cart c. 1912, autochrome, 9 x 12

via Belgian Autochromists

 

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International Photography Grant 2019