British photographers of Italian origin. Antonio Beato (b ?the Veneto, c. 1830; d Luxor, 1903) and his brother Felice [Felix] Beato (b ?the Veneto, c. 1830; d Mandalay, after 1904) were for many years thought to be one person with two names, Antonio and Felice, and only recently has the mystery been solved of the almost contemporaneous presence of a Beato in two different (and often very distant) places. The misunderstanding arose from the fact that both their names (Antonio Felice Beato) appear on several photographs. A closer inquiry brought to light a letter written by Antonio and published in the French paper, Moniteur de la photographie (1 June 1886), in which he explains that he is not the producer of the exotic photographs recently exhibited in London, mention of which had been made in the Moniteur of 10 March; the photographer was instead ‘[his] brother Monsieur Felice Beato of Japan’....
[Ben Youseph Nathan, Esther Zeghdda]
(b London, Nov 21, 1869; d Brooklyn, NY, Nov 27, 1933).
American photographer. Born Esther Zeghdda Ben Youseph Nathan to a German mother and an Algerian father, she immigrated to the United States in 1895. She worked as a milliner in New York before opening a photographic portrait studio in 1897. Her ‘gallery of illustrious Americans’ featured actresses, politicians, and fashionable socialites, including President Theodore Roosevelt, author Edith Wharton, artist William Merritt Chase, and actress Julia Marlowe. Ben-Yusuf also created Pictorialist-inspired artwork like The Odor of Pomegranates (1899; see fig.), an allegory informed by the myth of Persephone and the idea of the pomegranate as a tantalizing but odourless fruit. Ben-Yusuf was included in an exhibition organized by the Linked Ring, Brotherhood of the in London in 1896 and continued to exhibit in the group’s annual exhibitions until 1902. Her photographs were exhibited at the National Academy of Design in 1898 and at the Camera Club of New York in ...
(b Saint-Hippolyte-du-Fort, March 8, 1831; d Alès, April 9, 1885).
French photographer and photographic printer. Bonfils is best known for his photographs of the Mediterranean and Middle East, particularly his five-volume Souvenirs d’Orient: Egypte. Palestine. Syrie. Grèce (1878). Prior to opening a studio briefly in Alès in 1865, he was apprenticed to Abel Niépce de St Victor (180570). Having travelled to Lebanon in 1860 with the French Army to intervene in the conflict between the Druse and the Maronites, Bonfils decided to return to Beirut in 1867 with his wife Marie-Lydie Cabanis and son Adrian to establish a photographic studio under the name La Maison Bonfils. From there Bonfils began his photographic tour of Egypt, Palestine, Syria, and Greece, and sold his views back in his studio. These views included (he claimed) 15,000 albumen prints and 9000 stereoscopic cards. La Maison Bonfils became well known throughout Lebanon, the Middle East, and Europe as a première photographic studio and attracted many tourists seeking photographs of the surrounding area and peoples. Bonfils’s success was compounded when he presented his photographs to the Société Française de Photographie in ...
(b Paris, Feb 8, 1822; d Baden-Baden, Feb 9, 1894).
French photographer and writer. He was from a wealthy background, and he learnt calotype photography from Gustave Le Gray and Alexis de Lagrange. In 1849 he was sent by the Ministère de l’Instruction Publique on a mission to the Middle East to record the monuments and inscriptions. He undertook the trip (1849–51) with his friend the writer Gustave Flaubert, and during his travels he used a modified calotype process imparted to him by Alexis de Lagrange. He brought back c. 200 pictures from Egypt and some from Jerusalem and Baalbek. The album Egypte, Nubie, Palestine et Syrie: Dessins photographiques recueillis pendant les années 1849, 1850, 1851, accompagnés d’un texte explicatif et précédés d’une introduction was published by Gide and Baudry in 1852–4 (copy in Paris, Bib. Inst.; prints in Paris, Mus. d’Orsay; Paris, Bib. N.; Paris, Inst. Géog. N.). It contains 125 calotypes printed by Louis-Désiré Blanquart-Evrard, and it was the first printed work in France to be illustrated with ...
(b Chesterfield, Derbys, 1822; d Cannes, Feb 25, 1898).
English photographer. He is noted for his studies of the Middle East and for establishing the largest photographic publishing firm in the 19th century. He was born into a Quaker family and spent five unrewarding years apprenticed to a cutler in Sheffield, suffering a nervous breakdown in 1843. After two years recuperative travel he became a successful businessman, first in wholesale groceries and later in printing. His involvement with photography began at this time. He was one of the founder-members of the Liverpool Photographic Society in 1853 and he exhibited portraits and landscapes to much critical acclaim.
The sale of Frith’s printing firm in 1854 financed the expeditions to Egypt and the Holy Land that were to establish his pre-eminence among early travel photographers. He made three trips between 1856 and 1860 (see fig.). On the first, he sailed up the Nile to the Second Cataract, recording the main historic monuments between Cairo and Abu Simbel. On the second, he struck eastwards to Palestine, visiting Jerusalem, Damascus and other sites associated with the life of Christ. The final expedition was the most ambitious, combining a second visit to the Holy Land with a deeper southward penetration of the Nile. His photographs of the temple at ...
(b Langres, Haute-Marne, 1804; d Courcelles, nr Paris, 1892).
French photographer and draughtsman. A wealthy landowner and scholar who travelled widely, he made numerous sketches of Islamic architecture (untraced; engravings, Granada, Casa Tiros) and he took many very fine landscape photographs. During his travels in Italy, Asia Minor, Greece, Lebanon and Egypt (1841–5) he produced more than 900 daguerreotypes, which were used to illustrate his book on the Arabic monuments of the Middle East; he also photographed French monuments (e.g. La Tour St-Jacques, Paris, 1841; see Berger-Levrault, pl. 72). His work remained completely unknown until the plates (London, H. and A. Gernsheim priv. col.) were rediscovered in 1952. One of the earliest French landscape photographers, he devoted much of his time to his home at Courcelles, where he became a recluse after 1846. His only known contemporary exhibition was in Granada in 1833.Monuments arabes et mauresques de Cordoue, Séville et Grenade (Paris, 1836)Monuments arabes d’Egypte, de Syrie et d’Asie Mineure...
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 ...
(b England, c. ?1810; d ?India, after ?1881).
English photographer and medallist. He was active from about 1850 in Malta, where he met the Beato family brothers, whose sister, Maria Matilde, became Robertson’s wife. Together with the Beato brothers, Robertson travelled to Athens in 1852, and then c. 1853 to Constantinople, where he was appointed chief engraver of the Imperial Mint of Turkey. With the help of the Beatos, whom he had probably taught, Robertson took a series of photographs of Constantinople in 1853 (e.g. Eastern Scene, see Lucie-Smith, pl. 66). This was followed, in September 1855, by a series of the battlefields of the Crimea, in which he continued the work begun by Roger Fenton of documenting the war. Many of the photographs of this period bear the signature Robertson & Beato, and this is found on other photographs up until 1862.
In 1857 Robertson left Turkey and set out with the Beato brothers on a long journey from Athens to Egypt, Jerusalem, and eventually to India. Probably during his stay in Athens, Robertson gave many of his photographic plates to ...
(b Ribeauville, Alsace, April 14, 1824; d Paris, Feb 24, 1872).
French photographer, archaeologist and painter. A painter of landscapes and religious scenes and a keen archaeologist, he was fascinated by the Middle East from an early age. He visited Italy and Algeria with his friend Eugène Fromentin, and he was in Egypt at the time of the excavations of Auguste Mariette (1821–81). Taking advantage of a mission supported by the Ministère de l’Instruction Publique, he decided to set off for the Holy Land at the end of 1853. In his desire to support the disputed theses of the archaeologist Louis Félicien Caignart de Saulcy (1807–80) concerning the age and appearance of the monuments there, in 1854 he brought back from his trip c. 200 calotypes. The album Jérusalem (pubd 1855–6; Paris, Mus. Orsay; Paris, Bib. N.; priv. col.) contained 174 of them (see fig.). In 1863, he set off again with de Saulcy to carry out more intensive research, and his photographs were used to illustrate the archaeologist’s articles....
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 ...
(b 1811; d 1873).
Irish photographer. He was an Irish landowner of independent means living in County Cork. His importance in photographic history derives from his trips to Southern Europe and the Near and Middle East between 1850 and 1852, when he reached as far as Petra. During this time he took about 300 calotypes of architectural sites, such as Relief on the Temple at Thebes (1851; Austin, U. TX, Human. Res. Cent., Gernsheim Col.). He gave a talk to the Dublin Photographic Society in April 1857 in which he described his photographic method for such difficult, hot climates: he used the calotype process, with an exposure time of seven minutes in sunlight. Though these were technically and artistically superior to the contemporary photographs of the same area by Maxime Du Camp, his works were unknown until 1951, when they were included in an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London....
(b Saint-Flour, Cantal, Jan 14, 1817; d Saint-Martin-le-Vinoux, nr Grenoble, Aug 28, 1892).
French photographer and civil engineer. He was fascinated by Egyptology from an early age and visited Egypt from 1851 to 1852. He returned there in 1869 with an official invitation to the opening of the Suez Canal. He brought a number of calotypes back to France after his first trip, and these made up his album Egypte et Nubie. Sites et monuments les plus intéressants pour l’étude de l’art et de l’histoire. Atlas photographique accompagné de plans et d’une table explicative servant de complément à la grande ‘description de l’Egypte’. This sumptuous work, illustrated by 160 large-format plates printed by H. de Fonteny, was published from 1853 to 1858 by Goupil. The views shown were varied and included ancient monuments such as the Temple of Abu Simbel, the Pyramid of Chephren and the Ruins of Aswan as well as modern ones such as the Town of Asyut, the banks of the Nile and local people going about their daily business, as in ...
(b The Hague, Oct 17, 1835; d nr Marzuq, North Africa, Aug 1, 1869).
Dutch photographer and explorer. She was an amateur photographer but must have learnt the art from one of the professional photographers who had settled in The Hague, possibly Herman Bückmann (1820–84), the Delboy brothers (fl early 1860s) or the German Maria Hille (1827–?1893). Between 1860 and 1861 Tinne made photographs of mansions, buildings and lanes in The Hague (Leiden, Rijksuniv., and The Hague, Gemeentearchf). They are albumen prints of large format (370×450 mm), made from glass negatives, which were prepared with liquid collodion to be made light-sensitive shortly before use. She had a small carriage made for this purpose, which she kept with her while photographing and in which she could prepare the negatives. Her photographs show that the photographer chose her viewpoint and composition very carefully and spent a lot of thought on the lighting. The light and shade effects in the photographs create almost graphic effects....