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Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen The hidden treasures of Belgian photo history 17 December 2010 – 12 March 2011 www.anamorfose.be


AnamorFose.be Nieuwstraat 11 B-8870 Izegem Belgium

Phone: + 32 476 49 19 71 xavier@anamorfose.be www.anamorfose.be Copyright 2010 Xavier Debeerst


Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen (1884 – 1966) The hidden treasures of Belgian photo history


The Belgian photo history is one of the richest in Europe but at the same time one of the best kept secrets in art history. A fascinating, but slightly forgotten, period in the history of photography is certainly pictorialism. Pictorialism can be considered the impressionism in photography. Pictorialism takes us back to the beginning of the previous century when certain photographers tried to move away from technical and documentary photography and tried to conquer a place for photography amongst the internationally recognised forms of art. This quest resulted in a new language and technique. Photographs with soft focus and somewhat blur representing the ideal world became the photographer’s answer to impressionism. With artisanal and unique prints. The extreme opposite of what we see in contemporary photography. Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen (1884_1966) was an amateur photographer from Antwerp playing an important role in the pictorialist movement in the beginning of the 20th Century. Having his daily professional activities in the Antwerp Harbour, he was also an active amateur photographer, as were most pictorialists. He was amongst others the president of the photo society “Iris” and the drive behind many photographic societies of those days. He published in international publications in the Twenties and Thirties. The Antwerp Fotomuseum dedicated an exhibition to Borrenbergen in 1984 and published for this occasion a catalogue of his work.

One of the First international publication of “Een zonnig hoekje” by Borrenbergen in “Photograms of the year 1924”. Contrary to his comtemporary Léonard Misonne, Borrenbergen was wrongly a little forgotten in time.


The themes in Borrenbergen’s photography In his early years Borrenbergen focused mainly on the simple rural life of the Antwerp Kempen, which was slowly disappearing due to the industrial revolution. But at the same time he photographed the upcoming activities in the Antwerp Harbour, which was his professional habitat.

Landscapes, city views and still lives were the typical themes of the pictorialist photographer. Borrenbergen gave a very unique and personal interpretation of these themes.

His work is characterised by an extreme focus on composition and light. He was the master of print, preferring the bromoil, one of the most difficult alternative processes. A bromoil is a photographical technique based on oil and pigments. An artisanal technique giving the photographer a lot of freedom and creativity in the print of the photograph.


Even in the Fifties, when others had already given up the bromoil, he remained convinced of the value of this technique. But this didn’t prevent him from experimenting with modernist techniques and his photographic language evolved in time.

Being the president of the photo society “Iris” in Antwerp and the published of the magazine carrying the same name, he influenced an entire generation of photographers.


Magnum opus Borrenbergen’s magnum opus certainly is his portfolio Rivierenhof made in 1926. A collection of 30 large print photographs on the Antwerp park Rivierenhof.

The portfolio is not a documentary of a location of a sample of Borrenbergen’s photographic talent. The portfolio shows the park in all seasons. The eye catchers are certainly the landscapes in the snow.

Characteristic are the largeness of the prints. Usually the prints from this period were rather small in size due to the technical limitations. It must have been a real challenge for Borrenbergen to produce 30 magnificent prints of 30 x 40cm.


One of the top prints is number IX, De Tenisspelers. The subject is so atypical for the pictorialist period which was mainly static. This photograph is a snapshot put in a pictorialist setting. The light in the fence and the subject are modernist whereas the finish is impressionist. The photographer’s point of view and the balanced composition add a voyeurist element to this image.

The combination of these puts Borrenbergen on the level of the great French, German, English and American pictorialists.


04 Na de aanvaring Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4150,0) 1923, Belgium Bromoil 27,5 X 22,5 cm


30 Eerste zonnestralen, Brugge Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4163,0) 1925, Belgium Bromoil 36,8 X 25,7 cm


45 From the portfolio Rivierenhof I Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4165,0) 1926, Belgium Bromoil 37,6 X 28,2 cm


32 From the portfolio Rivierenhof XXVII Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4167,0) 1926, Belgium Bromoil 28,5 X 38,8 cm


15 From the portfolio Rivierenhof IV Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4181,0) 1926, Belgium Bromoil 27,2 X 37,1 cm


14 From the portfolio Rivierenhof XXX Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4184,0) 1926, Belgium Bromoil 27,3 X 38,0 cm


19 From the portfolio Rivierenhof IX Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4188,0) 1926, Belgium Bromoil 27,8 X 38,9 cm


01 Antwerp Cathedral Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4155,0) 1949, Belgium Bromoil 36,3 X 26,8 cm


02 Lichtp端nktchen Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4145,0) 1936, Belgium Chlorobromide 22,0 X 28,5 cm


03 In the harbour Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4156,0) 1933, Belgium Pigment print 38,0 X 28,0 cm


39 Jeu de lignes Ă  Paris Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4162,0) 1950, Belgium Bromure 37,5 X 27,5 cm


01 Antwerp Cathedral Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4155,0) 1949, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

36,3 X 26,8 cm

1200,0 Euro

02 Lichtp端nktchen Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4145,0) 1936, Belgium Chlorobromide Excellent

22,0 X 28,5 cm

1200,0 Euro

03 In the harbour Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4156,0) 1933, Belgium Pigment print Good

38,0 X 28,0 cm

250,0 Euro


04 Na de aanvaring Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4150,0) 1923, Belgium Bromoil Good

27,5 X 22,5 cm

250,0 Euro

05 De Zeehaven Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4151,0) 1939, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

24,4 X 34,4 cm

950,0 Euro

06 Dikke lucht Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4152,0) 1951, Belgium Mediobrom Excellent

38,4 X 28,5 cm

950,0 Euro Published in: Andries, Pool, “Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, fotograaf, 1884 - 1966�, Museum voor Fotografie, Antwerp, 1984 Exhibitons: Antwerp, 1950 Newport, 1953 Stockholm, 1952 Edinburg, 1953


07 Reflex Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4144,0) 1934, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

27,5 X 22,0 cm

850,0 Euro

08 Cranes Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4153,0) 1924, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

23,8 X 37,2 cm

850,0 Euro

09 L’ Eclaircie Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4154,0) 1930, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

15,0 X 21,5 cm

550,0 Euro


10 Harde werkers Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4158,0) 1944, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

27,5 X 37,4 cm

650,0 Euro Label on the back: XXV Salon Internacional de Fotografia, Zaragoza, Octubre 1949.

11 Springsnow Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4146,0) 1932, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

37,4 X 27,8 cm

650,0 Euro

12 In our Campine Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4161,0) 1952, Belgium Mediobrom Excellent

27,0 X 38,0 cm

850,0 Euro Stamp on the back: Seattle International


13 Rural scene Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4148,0) 1917, Belgium Vintage silver print Excellent 28,8 X 40,0 cm

Euro

14 From the portfolio “Rivierenhof” XXX Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4184,0) 1926, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

27,3 X 38,0 cm

750,0 Euro

15 From the portfolio “Rivierenhof” IV Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4181,0) 1926, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

27,2 X 37,1 cm

750,0 Euro


16 From the portfolio “Rivierenhof” VI Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4180,0) 1926, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

27,3 X 37,4 cm

750,0 Euro

17 From the portfolio “Rivierenhof” XIII Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4183,0) 1926, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

27,9 X 38,4 cm

750,0 Euro Published in: Andries, Pool, “Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, fotograaf, 1884 - 1966”, Museum voor Fotografie, Antwerp, 1984

18 From the portfolio “Rivierenhof” VII Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4171,0) 1926, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

28,5 X 38,3 cm

750,0 Euro


19 From the portfolio “Rivierenhof” IX Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4188,0) 1926, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

27,8 X 38,9 cm

1200,0 Euro

20 Een zonnig hoekje Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4147,0) 1924, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

28,0 X 38,7 cm

950,0 Euro Publication: Photogram of the Year, 1924 Exhibitions: London, 1924 Seattle, 1924 Cannes, 1932

21 From the portfolio “Rivierenhof” XI Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4178,0) 1926, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

26,5 X 37,3 cm

750,0 Euro


22 Waterspel Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4164,0) 1926, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

24,5 X 38,0 cm

850,0 Euro From the portfolio “Rivierenhof

23 From the portfolio “Rivierenhof” V Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4177,0) 1926, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

28,0 X 38,3 cm

750,0 Euro

24 Two beautiful dogs Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4159,0) 1927, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

22,0 X 26,7 cm

750,0 Euro


25 From the portfolio “Rivierenhof” XII Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4187,0) 1926, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

37,8 X 26,5 cm

750,0 Euro

26 From the portfolio “Rivierenhof” XV Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4174,0) 1926, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

28,5 X 38,0 cm

750,0 Euro

27 From the portfolio “Rivierenhof” II Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4179,0) 1926, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

37,5 X 28,5 cm

750,0 Euro


28 From the portfolio “Rivierenhof” XVII Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4186,0) 1926, Belgium Vintage silver print Excellent 26,5 X 36,5 cm

750,0 Euro Published in: Andries, Pool, “Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, fotograaf, 1884 - 1966”, Museum voor Fotografie, Antwerp, 1984

29 From the portfolio “Rivierenhof” XIV Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4166,0) 1926, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

27,0 X 37,8 cm

750,0 Euro Published in: Andries, Pool, “Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, fotograaf, 1884 - 1966”, Museum voor Fotografie, Antwerp, 1984

30 Eerste zonnestralen, Brugge Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4163,0) 1925, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

36,8 X 25,7 cm

850,0 Euro Published in: Andries, Pool, “Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, fotograaf, 1884 - 1966”, Museum voor Fotografie, Antwerp, 1984


31 From the portfolio “Rivierenhof” XXI Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4182,0) 1926, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

27,0 X 38,3 cm

750,0 Euro

32 From the portfolio “Rivierenhof” XXVII Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4167,0) 1926, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

28,5 X 38,8 cm

750,0 Euro

33 From the portfolio “Rivierenhof” XXX Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4176,0) 1926, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

29,0 X 37,6 cm

750,0 Euro


34 From the portfolio “Rivierenhof” XXIV Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4170,0) 1926, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

27,5 X 38,3 cm

750,0 Euro

35 From the portfolio “Rivierenhof” XXIII Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4169,0) 1926, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

28,3 X 38,3 cm

750,0 Euro

36 From the portfolio “Rivierenhof” XXII Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4185,0) 1926, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

28,0 X 38,4 cm

750,0 Euro


37 Winterzon Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4149,0) 1931, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

24,5 X 33,5 cm

650,0 Euro

38 Spring at Bruges Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4160,0) 1928, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

35,8 X 28,0 cm

850,0 Euro Published in: Andries, Pool, “Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, fotograaf, 1884 - 1966”, Museum voor Fotografie, Antwerp, 1984 Exhibitions: Pittsburg, 1928 Dunkerque, 1928 Roubaix, 1928 Stockholm, 1929 Lancashire, 1929

39 Jeu de lignes à Paris Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4162,0) 1950, Belgium Bromure Excellent

37,5 X 27,5 cm

850,0 Euro Exhibitions: Wenen, 1950 Innsbruck, 1950 Klagenfurth, 1950 Japan, 1952


40 Self-portrait Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4157,0) +/- 1950, Belgium Vintage silver print Excellent 29,0 X 39,0 cm

500,0 Euro

41 From the portfolio “Rivierenhof” VIII Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4168,0) 1926, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

35,5 X 28,9 cm

750,0 Euro

42 From the portfolio “Rivierenhof” XX Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4173,0) 1926, Belgium Vintage silver print Excellent 28,0 X 38,3 cm

750,0 Euro


43 From the portfolio “Rivierenhof” XXVI Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4175,0) 1926, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

37,5 X 28,3 cm

750,0 Euro

44 From the portfolio “Rivierenhof” III Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4172,0) 1926, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

37,1 X 27,6 cm

750,0 Euro

45 From the portfolio “Rivierenhof” I Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen, (id 4165,0) 1926, Belgium Bromoil Excellent

37,6 X 28,2 cm

750,0 Euro


Sales Terms & Conditions The photos can be ordered by e-mail (xavier@anamorfose.be) or in the Collector’s Room. The photos can be picked up at the Gallery in Izegem, Belgium or are shipped with registered mail. We have been searching for a shipping method which guarantees the best security at the most interesting cost. We have the best experiences with Registered Mail by the Belgian Post. Other shipping methods are possible. Please contact us prior to your order. All photographs are available for inspection on our premises by appointment, or at your location through special arrangement. The availability of photographs is subject to prior sale. All prices are subject to change without notice. All photographs are returnable within seven (7) days of their delivery date, packed carefully in the same packing material in which they were received and insured for their full value. All prices are in Euro and do not include shipping. Payment is required in Euro either by PayPal or by Direct Bank Transfer. All transactions are confidential and, unless specifically authorized, credit card details are deleted from our records when transactions are complete. Items will be dispatched following payment authorization. Order acknowledgments and invoices will be e-mailed unless an alternative is requested. A "no quidable" refund (minus shipping charges) is offered for items safely returned within seven days of receipt. Payment must be made in Euro, payable in a Belgian bank. Institutions will be invoiced net thirty (30) days. In such cases, shipping charges will appear as a separate amount on the invoices. Foreign orders are sent by registered mail, unless otherwise specified by prior arrangement. Foreign shipments are subject to the customs regulations of the country to which they are sent. AnamorFose is not responsible for any violation of these regulations, nor for securing import licenses. It is the responsibility of the buyer to handle any customs questions or to settle any official actions taken as a result of an attempt to deliver the purchases. Belgian sales tax of 6% will be collected where applicable. European residents holding valid tax exempt numbers should include these numbers on their orders. Any sale of these photographs does not constitute an implied sale of the copyright, or rights to reproduce the photograph in any way. AnamorFose makes no statement or claim concerning copyrights for any photographs sold through its Virtual Gallery. Anyone wanting to use any of the photographs displayed here for any purpose other than viewing them on this site must receive specific permission in writing from AnamorFose.

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Š Anamorfose, 2010


Jozef Emiel Borrenbergen