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Article

Erika Billeter

(b Eisenach, 1882; d Mexico City, 1954).

German photographer, active in Mexico. As a young man he travelled through Africa, taking photographs; an archive of some of these glass plates survives. He reached Mexico by way of Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala, and took his first Mexican photographs in the Yucatán peninsula. He then opened a studio in Mexico City and, together with Augustín Victor Casasola, became one of the most important photographers of the Revolution (1910–17). What he loved most, however, was the beauty of the Mexican landscape. His book Malerisches Mexico was published by Ernst Wachsmuth in Germany in 1923, the same year in which he collaborated with Manuel Alvarez Bravo, later to become Mexico’s leading photographer. Brehme’s photography was not merely reportage. He sought to capture the spirit of the country rather than isolated events as, for example, in his photograph of Pancho Villa’s horsemen, each in direct eye-contact with the photographer. In this he was inspired by José Guadalupe Posada, who was one of the first artists to capture the Mexican temperament in his woodcuts. Occasionally, indeed, Posada worked from photographs by Brehme and by Casasola. More than most foreigners, Brehme was able to feel real empathy with Mexico, and he became an impressive interpreter not only of its customs and traditions, but also of its historical monuments and festivals....

Article

Jocelyn Fraillon Gray

(b Morges, Vaud, March 3, 1814; d Melbourne, Victoria, May 30, 1888).

Swiss painter, lithographer and photographer, active in Brazil and Australia. He attended a drawing school in Lausanne, where his teacher may have been Marc-Louis Arlaud (1772–1845), and is thought to have spent some time with the landscape painter Camille Flers in Paris c. 1836 en route to Bahia (Salvador), Brazil. In 1840 he moved to Rio de Janeiro, where he established himself as a painter of local views and exhibited with the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts, Rio. His Brazilian landscapes, of which the View of Gamboa (1852; Rio de Janeiro, Mus. N. B.A.) is an example, received critical acclaim for their vivacious lighting. As a photographer he fulfilled commissions in daguerreotype for Emperor Peter II, and with the figure painter Auguste Moreau he produced a set of 18 lithographs, Picturesque Rio de Janeiro, published in 1843–4. From 1852 to 1864 he worked as a portrait photographer in Switzerland and from ...

Article

Eduardo Serrano

(b Yarumal, 1869; d Medellín, 1934).

Colombian photographer. After studying photography with Emiliano Mejía, he established a photographic studio in Yarumal in 1898, working there until his move in 1903 to Medellín. He added the prefixes to his surname, Calle, to declare his identification with other people ‘of the street’: nonconformists, bohemians and those marginalized by society. He openly aligned himself with the underprivileged social classes in his photographs, stating his opposition to the arbitrary and vengeful aspects of his society by recording some of the most moving events of his day, including the last executions by firing squad to take place in Colombia. This series included photographs of prisoners awaiting their deaths while facing their coffins and as bullet-ridden corpses.

De la Calle was also an exceptional portraitist, usually of anonymous and unsophisticated people to whom he gave great dignity, such as proudly barefooted peasants who boldly displayed the instruments and tools of their work. He sometimes presented his figures with elements such as revolvers and cartridge belts to indicate his political and social rebellion. Through such perceptive images he recorded the urban, industrial and commercial development of Medellín....

Article

(b Mexico City, Jul 28, 1874; d Mexico City, Mar 30, 1938).

Mexican photographer, journalist, and collector. Casasola initially studied typography before becoming a reporter in 1894. He probably began taking photographs to illustrate his articles and in 1902 traveled to Veracruz to photograph a tour by President Porfirio Díaz. Newspapers that publicly criticized Díaz or his government were often harassed or closed, thus articles and their illustrations often focused exclusively on positive aspects of Mexican life, such as the development of infrastructure, the growth of trade, and the pastimes of the elites living in Mexico City (see Monasterio 2003, 32–41). At the same time, Casasola sometimes photographed scenes of everyday life, traveling, for example, to haciendas near Mexico City to photograph the peasant farmworkers. In these images he took care, lest he attract the ire of the government, to avoid any display of the harsh conditions that characterized life for the majority of Mexicans outside of the capital.

In 1905 Agustín and his brother Miguel were both working as photographers for ...

Article

W. Iain Mackay

(b Carhuás, Ancash, Oct 2, 1857; d San Miguel de Tucumán, Dec 1922).

Peruvian painter, photographer, teacher and critic. At the age of four he was brought to Lima, where he began to take lessons in art. From 1885 he travelled through France, Italy and Belgium, and on returning to Latin America he settled in Buenos Aires, where he took up photography. In 1905 he returned to Lima, where he set up a workshop and art college at the Quinta Heeren, introducing the latest photographic techniques. On visiting Spain in 1908 Castillo discovered the historical genre paintings of Mariano Fortuny y Marsal, and once back in Lima worked as a painter and as art critic for the magazines Prisma, Variedades, Actualidades and Ilustración peruana. He later supported Daniel Hernández in founding (1919) the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Lima (see also Peru, Republic of, §XI). In parallel with the writer Ricardo Palma, Castillo was concerned with recording the traditions of Lima’s colonial past, and such paintings as the ...

Article

Patricia Strathern

(b Fleurieux, Rhône, May 2, 1828; d Paris, Oct 24, 1915).

French photographer, archaeologist, and writer. An intrepid traveller, he used photography as a method of recording and documenting the sites he explored and wrote about. He left for the USA in 1857, spending two years in Mexico from 1857 to 1859. Using the wet collodion process and large plates, his photography (e.g. Mexico—Chichen Itza, c. 1858; see Berger and Levrault, cat. no. 40) was something of a technical feat in the circumstances. He returned to Europe in 1861, and his first book, Antiquités mexicaines, was published the same year. In 1863 he photographed in Madagascar and from 1864 to 1880 worked in South America, Java, Australia, and Canada. In 1880 he returned to Mexico, where he made some important archaeological discoveries in Pre-Columbian sites.

See also: Pre-Columbian sources in American architecture; Mesoamerica, Pre-Columbian, §X, 1.

Article

Erika Billeter

(b France; d ?France). French photographer, active in Peru.

He moved to Lima c. 1861 where he formed a partnership with the French photographer Eugenio Maunoury. By 1864 he had his own studio, which became the most successful photographic centre in Lima. He was the leading Peruvian portrait photographer of the 19th century, winning a gold medal at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in ...

Article

John Fuller

(b Cuba, May 13, 1856; d Falmouth, Cornwall, May 12, 1936).

English photographer. He lived in Cuba and the USA until his widowed English mother took her two sons to England in 1869. He studied medicine at King’s College Hospital, London (1879), and later received a BA (1883) and a Bachelor of Medicine degree (1885) from Cambridge University. While at Cambridge he studied photography, and after a brief medical practice he left the profession in 1886 for photography and writing. After becoming a member of the Photographic Society of Great Britain in 1883, he achieved recognition writing for such journals as Amateur Photographer.

In East Anglia Emerson used his nautical skills and knowledge of natural history while photographing the fen country and its people. The results were albums such as Life and Landscape on the Norfolk Broads (London, 1886; see fig.), which he co-authored with the English painter Thomas F. Goodall (1856–1944), ...

Article

Erika Billeter

(b Rio de Janeiro, 1843; d Rio de Janeiro, 1923).

Brazilian photographer. He trained as a photographer with Franz Keller (1835–90), from Mannheim, Germany, and worked as a photographer in Rio de Janeiro, before joining the photographic firm of Leuzinger. In 1865 he opened his own studio. He specialized in photographs of landscapes and shipping, as in View of Rio de Janeiro with Corcorada and Sugarloaf (c. 1875), but was also one of the first photographers of the Indian population of the Amazon region. In 1876 he exhibited his material—which was also of ethnological interest—at the Exhibition of the Century in Philadelphia, PA, winning the gold medal. In 1904, at the World’s Fair in St Louis, MO, he was the only photographer to win a gold medal. In 1907 he opened the first picture-house in Rio de Janeiro and concentrated his attention on the new technical possibilities.

E. Billeter: Fotografie Lateinamerika (Zurich and Berne, 1981)R. Fabian...

Article

Shana Simone Lopes

[Hercule] (Romuald)

(b Nice, Feb 29, 1804; d Vila de São Carlos [now Campinas], Mar 27, 1879).

Brazilian draftsman, inventor, naturalist, and painter of French birth. Shortly after moving to Brazil at the age of 21, he worked as an artist on Baron von Langdorff’s survey expedition from 1825 to 1829, recording the indigenous population and environs of Brazil’s interior region. Following the survey’s completion, he settled in the southern village of São Carlos, where he attempted to publish a study on bird and animal sounds entitled Zoophonie. After encountering problems finding a print shop in the region, he devised his own stencil-inspired method of printing, a process he named poligraphie. Concurrently, he learned of the light-sensitive properties of silver nitrates through conversations with local pharmacist Joaquim Corrêa de Mello. Documented in his meticulous diary in January 1833, he noted his first experiments with the camera obscura and silver nitrates, which led to his invention of a photographic process. Through a four-hour exposure, he produced an image of a view from his window. His primary interest in the medium was reproduction, and to this end he developed a printing-out, negative–positive process capable of producing multiples of his drawings. Extant examples include a Masonic diploma and a sheet of pharmaceutical labels. In his diaries of ...

Article

Erika Billeter

(b Guanajuato, 1852; d Guanajuato, 1930).

Mexican photographer. In 1887 he opened a photographic studio, at a time when Guanajuato, a mining town, was experiencing an unprecedented economic boom that made it one of Mexico’s most important commercial centers. He became the town’s most popular society photographer, recording the aristocracy in their fashionable European clothes, as well as the priesthood, the agricultural laborers, and the miners.

Stylistically and technically traditional, García took all his photographs in the studio, always in front of the same props and in the same lighting conditions. He did not present detail, or suggest internal emotion. His subjects either stood or sat, and always appeared full-figure; they knew that they were appearing in a photograph, and looked appropriately static.

Canales, C. Romualdo García: Un fotografo, una ciudad, una época. Guanajuato, 1980.Billeter, E. Fotografie Lateinamerika. Zurich and Bern, 1981.Images of Mexico: The Contribution of Mexico to 20th Century Art. Edited by ...

Article

W. Iain Mackay

(de la Vega de los Ríos )

(b Yagua, Huari, Tacna, May 8, 1823; d San Mateo, Lima Province, May 14, 1869).

Peruvian painter and photographer. He commenced his studies under the Ecuadorean artist Javier Cortés (d after 1841) and then at the Academia Nacional de Dibujo y Pintura in Lima. In 1842 he went to Paris to study under Paul Delaroche at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He toured Spain and Italy, visiting Venice, where he was able to study Renaissance works. Upon his return to Peru in 1849 he travelled round the southern highlands of Puno and Cuzco, which were to influence his future work.

In 1852 he was given a scholarship and returned to Paris to study under Charles Gleyre, witnessing Gleyre’s fashionable blend of the romantic and the classical. At this time he also started to develop an interest in portraying the indigenous Peruvian world. In 1855 he exhibited Mountain Dweller (c. 1855) at the first Exposition Universelle in Paris. Eventually his financial support from Peru was exhausted, and in ...

Article

Pedro Querejazu

(b La Plata [now Sucre], 1816; d Sucre, 1871).

Bolivian painter, photographer, museum founder, scientist, and soldier. He was self-taught as a painter and established a reputation through his work in various techniques. His major work was an album (1841–1860; Sucre, Bib. & Archv N.) composed of 116 watercolors of ordinary people, native and mestizo, fauna, flora, landscapes, and nature scenes of various regions of Bolivia. His work is spontaneous and naive, painted with an almost dry brush. The importance of his work lies principally in his realistic approach to his country and its natural environment. He also painted academic portraits, such as Casimiro Olañeta (1857; La Paz, priv. col.), and he established (c. 1845) the first Bolivian museum of cultural, mineral, plant, and animal specimens (dispersed after 1871). He took up photography towards the end of his life.

Chacón Torres, M. Pintores del siglo XIX, Bib. A. & Cult. Boliv.: A. & Artistas. La Paz, 1963....

Article

Erika Billeter

(b Italy, 1835; d Italy, after 1870).

Italian photographer, active in Argentina. An avid traveller, he visited India and China before opening a studio in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he worked from 1865 to 1870. He was among the first photographers to discover the beauty of the Argentine Pampa and to make portraits of its picturesque Gauchos. Through his photographic books, which were available on a subscription basis, the Pampa was opened up for tourists. In ...

Article

Erika Billeter

(b Medellín, 1875; d Medellín, 1923).

Colombian photographer. In 1892, aged 17, he set up his own photographic studio. He taught himself photography from books, because the town (which was accessible only by mule) had not yet produced a photographer who could have taken him as an apprentice. Medellín, which he never left, was the source of his inspiration. He photographed the town and the people, creating a unique document of a provincial town in South America in the late 19th century and early 20th. His photographs combined the close observation of documentary reportage with a poetic atmosphere. In 1895 he published his best-known photograph, a portrait of a cobbler on a street in Medellín.

Rodríguez lived almost completely cut off from the world, but he had his materials sent to him from Paris by Lumière and Guilleminaut, and he was aware of contemporary trends in photography, particularly pictorial photography, by which he was evidently influenced. Each of his photographs underlines the picturesque qualities of his native town. Because electric light was not available in Medellín until ...

Article

María Antonia González-Arnal

(b Cúa, nr Caracas, ?1859; d Caracas, Nov 8, 1890).

Venezuelan painter. He settled in Caracas in 1878, alternating his work in a tobacco factory with copying and colouring photographic portraits. Rojas studied at the Academia de Bellas Artes, Caracas. In 1881 he worked as an assistant to the painter Antonio Herrera Toro on the decoration of Caracas Cathedral. In the Exposición Nacional (1883) he was awarded a silver medal for his only historical work, Death of Girardot in Bárbula (Caracas, Gal. A. N.). In the same year, with a government scholarship, he left for France; he registered at the Académie Julian and exhibited regularly at the Salon of the Société des Artistes Français between 1885 and 1890, receiving an award in 1886 for Misery (Caracas, Gal. A. N.). Rojas excelled in the academic techniques of his figure studies. Inspired by the Dutch tradition, he also painted several still-lifes, such as Still-life with Pheasant (c. 1884; Caracas, Gal. A. N.), as well as a small number of landscapes in an academic naturalist vein. In ...

Article

Terence Pitts

(b West Carlisle, OH, April 8, 1871; d Mexico City, July 8, 1925).

American photographer and teacher . A self-taught photographer, he began taking photographs in 1893 and soon developed a style that showed the influence of Whistler, Sargent and Japanese prints. He was elected to the Linked Ring, Brotherhood of the group of Pictorial photographers in 1900 and was a leading member of the Photo-Secession from 1902. His evocative photographs of rural landscapes and of his family celebrate the joys and virtues of the simple, middle-class way of life that existed in the USA before World War I (e.g. Ring Toss , 1899; New York, Met.)

By 1906 White was already a major figure in American photography and moved to New York, where he began a close professional and artistic relationship with Alfred Stieglitz that lasted until 1912. His work was published in Camera Work in July 1903, Jan 1905, July 1908, July 1909 and Oct 1910. In 1908 he began teaching photography, founding in ...