Édifices Anciens: Fragments et Détails, Anvers


Édifices Anciens: Fragments et Détails, Anvers is a surprise for being an example of early book by the Belgian artist and author, Jean de Bosschère, which is devoid of the idiosyncratic features of the artist’s later style, a style whose curious figures, human or otherwise, make de Bosschère a Belgian equivalent of Sidney Sime. Édifices Anciens was published in 1907, and if the illustrations lack the artist’s invention the architectural details that the drawings depict are inventive in their own way, being examples of the baroque style common to the old buildings of Belgium and the Netherlands.


Anvers is the French name for Antwerp, a city with many facades that peak into those wonderful ogee flourishes, corner finials and crow-step gables that look (to English eyes) typically Belgian and very un-English. One of the few places you’ll see facades like these in England is the city of Hull whose status as a port meant traffic with the Low Countries in architectural styles as well as in goods. (Crow-step gables are a common feature of buildings in Scotland, however, a nation whose architectural idioms are the first signal to a visitor from the south that you’re in a different country.)


Édifices Anciens may be browsed here or downloaded here. For more typical examples of Jean de Bosschère’s drawing style see the links below.















Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The illustrators archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Jean de Bosschère’s The City Curious
Jean de Bosschère’s Folk Tales of Flanders

2 thoughts on “Édifices Anciens: Fragments et Détails, Anvers”

  1. Those are wonderful drawings. Your blog sometimes reminds me, as with this feature, of a great and vanished blog called “The Golden Age” and purveyed by a fellow known only as “Mr. Door Tree.”

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks, Howard, I used to read that blog myself, and also linked there a few times. I think he quit because he was tired of people using the pictures he posted elsewhere. Hard to avoid this on the internet.

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