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Antoin Sevruguin photographs of Persia, [1880s-1890s]

Sevruguin, Antoin, 1851-1933, photographer.

Antoin Sevruguin photographs of Persia.

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  • Title:
    Antoin Sevruguin photographs of Persia, [1880s-1890s]
  • Author/Creator: Sevruguin, Antoin, 1851-1933, photographer.
  • Creation Date: [1880s-1890s]
  • Biographical/Historical Note: Antoin Sevruguin (1851-1933) was the first successful commercial photographer in Iran. Russian by birth (he was born in the Russian embassy in Tehran), Sevruguin nevertheless had a deep and passionate commitment to Persia and its culture. Sevruguin opened his first photography studio in Tbilisi in 1870 with Dmitri Ivanovitch Yermakov, and shortly thereafter undertook a expedition to Iran with his brothers, Kolia and Emmanuel, to document the ancient monuments, landscapes and peoples of Azerbaijan, Kurdistan and Lorestan. The photographic images from this trip supplied the first stock for the studio they subsequently established in Tehran. Sevruguin made over 7,000 glass plate negatives in the course of his career, most of which were destroyed in the early twentieth century - fewer than 700 of his negatives are known to have survived.
  • Physical Desc.: 97 photographs : albumen prints ; photographs 18 x 23.5 cm and smaller, on mounts 26 x 36.5 cm and smaller
  • Summary: The 97 photographs in this collection are representative of Antoin Sevruguin's all-encompassing documentation of Persia, and comprise a mixture of studio portraits, outdoor vernacular scenes and landscapes. Portraits of "types" include "Persan(es)" (Persians); professions such as tea seller, druggist, fig vendor and street banker; mendicants; dervishes; courtesans and prostitutes, shot in the studio or in their typical locales. All levels of society are present here from court treasurers, represented by the retinue of Ghavam-al-Dowleh, to unnamed opium smokers, and to a portrait of a Chaldean Christian woman.
    There are numerous views of Tehran, including views of four of the city's six gates; the English legation; arsenal; gas factory; and the Place des Canons. A photograph captioned "Mosquée de Khoum" provides an intimate glimpse of two men sitting on an open balcony with the impressive mosque as their backdrop. Daily life is represented in views of Tehran's markets and street life.
    Other locales represented include Anzalī Lagoon with views of its shores and the shah's palace, and the province of Gīlān, especially local industry and life in the town of Rasht. Trade routes in the environs of Gīlān and other areas to the north and west of Tehran are also pictured, with a focus on way stations; bridges leading to trade centers; and the movement of the goods themselves in covered wagons, on camels and in caravanserai. From further afield come images of the nomads of Taliche in Mazandaran province and from Lorestan in the west, as well as of the inhabitants of Imamzadeh, Kurdistan. Also included are a few views of bas-reliefs at Persepolis and other ancient sites.
  • Language: French
  • Notes: Title devised.
    Captions are written on the mounts in French.
    Most of the photographs are numbered in the negative.
  • Form/Genre: Albumen prints--Iran--19th century.
    Studio portraits--Iran--19th century.
    Photographs, Original.
  • Subjects: Indigenous peoples--Iran. Occupations--Iran. Relief (Sculpture), Ancient--Iran--Persepolis. Streets--Iran. Trade routes--Iran. Anzalī Lagoon (Iran)--Description and travel. Gīlān (Iran : Province)--Description and travel. Persepolis (Iran)--Antiquities. Iran--Description and travel. Rasht--Description and travel. Tehran (Iran)--Description and travel.
  • Format: Still image
  • ID/Accession Number: 2017.R.25
  • Is Part Of: Antoin Sevruguin photographs of Persia.
  • See Also: Collection description
  • Use Restrictions: Digital images and files saved from this website should be suitable for most purposes.
    For more information, see the Library Reproductions & Permissions page.

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