Carol Popp Szathmari Buceciu la Sinaia (Mountains and Way Station in Romania)
Medium Albumen print from wet plate negative
Mount on original printed mount
Photo Date 1860s Print Date 1860s
Dimensions 11-7/8 x 13-11/16 in. (302 x 348 mm)
Photo Country Romania
Photographer Country Hungary
Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith
About This Image
Photographer's information, title, series name, and other information printed on mount. Print made 1866 or after. It has been misdated to 1855 in the past.
Carol Szathmari (Hungarian: Szathmáry Pap Károly; Romanian: Carol Popp de Szathmary; 1812 - 1887) was an Austro-Hungarian-born painter, lithographer and photographer. He is considered one of the world's first combat photographer as he took pictures in the battlefield, during the first year of the Russian-Turkish War, later known as the Crimean War (1853-1856).
Carol Pop de Szathmari was born in Cluj (Klausenburg, or Kolozsvár), Transylvania, on January 11, 1812. He was of noble descent and one can still find his ancestors’ coat-of-arms preserved at the Reformed Church in Cluj.
Szathmari decided to take his camera to the battlefield. Using a wagon specially equipped with a dark room for processing the glass plates with wet collodion, he went to Danube's banks and various other places to document the war. In April 1854 his van became a target for the Turkish artillery from Olteni?a, who thought it belonged to a Russian spy. It was fortunate for the artist that the gunners were not accurate enough to hit him.
He exhibited his photos, bound in an album, at the Exposition Universelle of 1855. Because Szathmari's were the first images of the war. prior to Roger Fenton's large collection of photographs taken almost a year later, his album was much praised and he was presented with many awards. He eventually offered his work to Queen Victoria, to Emperors Napoleon III and Franz Josef I and to other royalty of Europe.
He was the first certified photographer in Romania. By 1866 Carol Popp de Szathmary was the official photographer of the Romanian ruler Alexandru Ioan Cuza and of the first king of Romania, Carol I of Romania. Most of his life he worked and lived in Bucharest, where he died. Early Romanian images by Szathmari, like this one, are very rare. Provenance: Andre Jammes.
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