Fountaine de la Sophie, Constantinople

Fountaine de la Sophie, Constantinople

c. 1854

Ernest de Caranza

(French, 1837-1863)

Salted paper print from paper negative

Image: 16.8 x 23.3 cm (6 5/8 x 9 3/16 in.); Matted: 40.6 x 50.8 cm (16 x 20 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 2001.148



Arriving in Istanbul (then Constantinople) in 1852, Ernest de Caranza, a French factory engineer, took many photographs during his extensive travels on scientific missions throughout the Asiatic part of the Ottoman Empire. Self-taught as a photographer, he relied on the waxed paper negative process, created his own materials, and formulated an excellent fixative which tended to gray the blacks, giving the images a remarkable transparency in the shadows. In this charming view, he described the surrounding streetscape while concentrating on the distinctive, ancient architecture of the centrally positioned building. His beautifully descriptive photographs helped to shape Westerners' understanding of this historic city.

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