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Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

[Arab. taṣwīr, fūtūgrāfiyā ; Ottoman Turk. taṣwīr ; Mod. Turk. fotoğrafçilik ; Pers. ‛akkāsī, fūtūghirāfī

Term used to describe the technique of producing an image by the action of light on a chemically prepared material. Although used privately in France and England as early as 1833, the process was announced publicly only in 1839.

In January 1839 François Arago (1786–1853), a member of the Académie des Sciences, suggested that among the advantages the new medium presented was that the millions of hieroglyphs covering the monuments of Thebes, Memphis and Karnak could be copied by a single man rather than by scores of draftsmen, and in 1846 the English photographer and scientist William Henry Fox Talbot (1800–77) published a pamphlet with three prints of hieroglyphics for distribution among ar-chaeologists and Orientalists.

The Ottoman press reported the discovery of photography as early October 1839, and European colonial involvement in the Islamic lands of North Africa and West Asia ensured that photography was immediately brought there: for example, in ...

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. Tehran, late 1830s; d. 1933).

Russian photographer active in Iran. The son of Vassil de Sevruguin, an Orientalist who served as a diplomat with the Russian embassy in Tehran, and Achin Khanoum. After his father’s death, Sevruguin followed his Georgian mother to Tblisi, where he met the Russian photographer Dmitri Ivanovitch Jermakov (1845–1916), who had opened a studio there. In 1870 Sevruguin traveled to Iran with his brothers, photographing the landscape, archaeological sites and the people of Azerbaijan, Kurdistan and Luristan. He eventually settled in Tehran and established a studio, becoming an official court photographer to Nasir al-Din Shah (r. 1848–96), and was sought as a portraitist by members of the élite. Sevruguin made annual trips to Vienna to keep abreast of modern photographic developments. The art historian Friedrich Sarre commissioned Sevruguin to photograph Achaemenid and Sasanian monuments in southern Iran for Iranische Felsreliefs, which he published with Ernst Herzfeld (although Sevruguin’s contribution went unmentioned). Sevruguin’s business was damaged during the Constitutional Revolution of ...