Exhibition : La Zwanze, burlesque & canular


The museum is presenting an exhibition devoted to zwanse, or zwans, the saucy Brussels humour that developed around the personality of the famous French-born lithographer and photographer Louis-Joseph Ghémar (1819-1873). A friend of Nadar, Ghémar established a sound reputation, working among others for the Belgian court. From lithographic albums presenting consensual views of Belgian towns and cities to official portraits of famous people, nothing escaped Ghémar. He experimented with techniques, making discoveries that led him to gradually abandon lithography in favour of the new technologies of photography. However, alongside this official career, Ghémar was also quite a lad! He enjoyed meeting people, parties and jokes, but above all he was a skilled imitator. Parodying the style of his contemporaries such as Stevens, Courbet, Manet, Meissonnier and many others, Ghémar created pastiches of works which he finally exhibited in his own museum in Brussels in 1870. Louis Ghémar died suddenly at the age of 54, becoming for all his 'followers' the symbol of zwanse. Continuing in the same spirit, other 'Great Zwans' exhibitions were to be held in Brussels, including on the eve of the First World War and the Second World War. They each focused on all forms of mockery around art and society.


Adulte : 3 €


Go to top

Exhibition : La Zwanze, burlesque & canular

12 Rue Fumal
5000 Namur

+32 81 77 67 55