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 the mid 19th-century
Westerner’s understanding of this historic city.
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