zondag 29 december 2013

Egypt by Zangaki, Photog. Artistique G. Lékégian & Co., Abdullah Frères, Antonio Beato and others Photography

Egypt by Zangaki, Photog. Artistique G. Lékégian & Co., Abdullah Frères, Antonio Beato and others

Foto's in het album zijn vervaar digd door: Zangaki, Photog. Artistique G. Lékégian & Co., Abdullah Frères, Antonio Beato, e.a. Het album bevat een papieren stempel op p. 2: "F.W. Rinck, Hof- en Nederlandsche Albumfabrikant, Den Haag"

The Zangaki Brothers (active 1870s-1890s) were two Greek photographers who specialized in historic or ancient Egyptian scenes, producing prints for the tourist trade. They occasionally worked with the Port Said photographer, Hippolyte Arnoux. Little is known about the brothers, except their initials, C. and G., and that they worked out of Port Said and Cairo. Their photographs of late 19th century Egypt, are highly prized by historians and collectors for their insights into life at the time. Images included views of the pyramids (e.g. Cheops or the Sphinx) and the cities (e.g. Suez or Alexandria), as well of Egyptians going about their daily lives (e.g. a teacher and pupils, men by the Nile, or women at home).

G. Lekegian, an Armenian, moved to Cairo from Istabul. He set up a studio in Cairo (1887). Armenians dominated the early photographic industry in Egypt. Few Arabs new anything about photography. Egypt did not have a modern educatioin system and the education that did exist emphasized Islam rather than math and science. Lekegian, rapidly acquired a reputation for the quality of his work. Lekegian ususlly signed his photographs "Photographic Artistique G. Lekegian & Co". This was French based company. He won the Gold Medal at the International Photography Exhibition in Paris in 1892, and the Grand Prize at the International Exhibition in Chicago (1893). His work is an important record of Arab life in Egypt and other North African countries. Some of the best 19th century images of Egypt were produced by Lekegian. His work is found in many major photographic collections. He located his studio, near the legendary Shepheard's Hotel. As his reputsation grew, he turned the area between Qasr al-Nil Street and Opera Square into a golden triangle of Cairo photography. (http://histclo.com/photo/photo/photog/pho-lek.html, 2010-08-23).

Abdullah Frères, three Ottoman Armenian brothers Vichen (1820–1902), Hovsep (1830–1908) and Kevork Abdullah (1839–1918) who ran a profitable studio in Constantinople with other locations in Cairo and Izmir. In 1862 the three brothers were named official royal photographers to the courts of the Sultans Abdul Aziz and Abdul Hamid II, and had the right to use the royal monogram.
While official royal photographers to the Sultans they were commissioned to document the Ottoman Empire in photographs. The work appears to have been conceived by the sultan as a portrait of his empire for the 1893 World Columbian Exposition, but was not exhibited there. It dwells on the accomplishments and westernizing improvements of the regime, such as the well drilled and equipped military, the technologically advanced lifesaving and fire fighting brigades, customs bureaucracy, and life at the lavish Imperial court. A copy of the survey was presented by Sultan Abdul-Hamid to the Library of Congress in 1894. (Gift of H.I.M. the Sultan Abdul Hamid II)
They also sold various views of Egypt and the Middle East to tourists through their studios. In 1899 they sold their business and collection to Sebah and Jollier, which led ultimately to confusion of manufacture from the two studios, since later photographs from Abdullah Frères negatives are embossed with the Sebah and Jollier back stamp.
Antonio Beato was an Italian-British photographer, known for his landscape views of the architecture of Egypt and other locations in the Mediterranean region. He was the younger brother of photographer Felice Beato (1832 - 1909), with whom he sometimes worked.

Antonio Beato's origins are uncertain; he was probably born in Venetian territory and later became a naturalized British citizen. His brother was born in Venice, but the family may have moved to Corfu, which had been a Venetian possession until 1814 when it was acquired by Britain.
Thye large number of photographs signed "Felice Antonio Beato" and "Felice A. Beato", brought to the assumption that there was a photographer who somehow managed to photograph contemporarily in different countries as Egypt and Japan. Later, in 1983 Italo Zannier deducted that "Felice Antonio Beato" represented two brothers, Felice Beato and Antonio Beato, who sometimes worked together, sharing a signature. The confusion arising from the signatures continued to cause problems in identifying which of the two photographers was the creator of a given image.

Antonio often used the French version of his given name, as Antoine Beato. It is presumed that he did so because he mainly worked in Egypt, which had a large French-speaking population.

Antonio Beato went to Cairo in 1860 where he spent two years before moving to Luxor where he opened a photographic studio in 1862 and began producing tourist images of the people and architectural sites of the area. 

In 1864, at a time when his brother Felice was living and photographing in Japan, Antonio photographed members of Ikeda Nagaoki's Japanese mission who were visiting Egypt on their way to France.

Antonio Beato died in Luxor in 1906.

See also Pioneers of Travel Photography

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