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Photograph - Guild houses at La Grand-Place
  • Guild houses at La Grand-Place
    Jones, Calvert Richard Rev., born 1802 - died 1877
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Guild houses at La Grand-Place

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    Belgium (photographed)

  • Date:

    ca. 1854 (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Jones, Calvert Richard Rev., born 1802 - died 1877 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    calotype negative

  • Museum number:

    PH.115-1983

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 353, box G

Physical description

A row of tall five and six storey houses with Dutch gables lead into a narrow street. On the left is a towered structure circled with narrow balconies on its upper levels. Smaller houses can be glimpsed at the end of the street. All four corners have been cut off the print, which is generally faded with an albuminised surface.

Place of Origin

Belgium (photographed)

Date

ca. 1854 (photographed)

Artist/maker

Jones, Calvert Richard Rev., born 1802 - died 1877 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

calotype negative

Dimensions

Height: 22.4 cm, Width: 18.4 cm image

Object history note

During the 1830s William Henry Fox Talbot invented a way of making paper negatives and from them multiple paper prints. In doing so, he laid the foundations of modern photography. Calvert Jones learned of these developments in 1839 through a neighbour who was a cousin of Talbot. Jones lived in South Wales and he made many photographs there and in the West of England. He also travelled widely, making photographs on the continent. Jones' work stands out in the early development of photography because he was one of the first to apply a schooled artist's eye to the medium.

In 1853, Jones moved to Belgium with his wife and daughter and lived there until the death of his wife in Brussels in 1856. This photograph by Jones shows several of the guild houses which surround the square. The corner of the grandest of the buildings, the City Hall, provides a frame for the left side of the image. Although the 17th century guild houses dominate the frame, the choice of composition is unusual in drawing the viewer down the street between the guild house and the city hall.

Historical context note

La Grande-Place or Grote Markt has been in use as a market since the 15th century and the surrounding buildings, mainly guild houses, date from the 17th century. The square is a vivid reminder of the old commercial and social centre of Brussels and is now a world heritage site.

Descriptive line

Calotype by Calvert Richard Jones depicting a street scene in front of the guild houses at La Grand-Place in Brussels. Belgium, ca. 1854.

Materials

Paper

Techniques

Calotype

Subjects depicted

Dutch gables; Houses; Street

Categories

Photographs

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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