Serbian Photography

Figure 1.--Most of the early Serbian photographs we have found in general circulation are cabinet cards. And we don;'t begin to see any substantial numbers until the 1870s. This portrait in 1906 is a good example. Notice that the front text says 'Cabinrt Card' abd not the name of the sudio and city. And on the back only 'Souvenir is printed.

We have little infotmation on Serbian photography yet. The first Serbian photographertake Daguerrotypes was Dimitrije Novakovic. Anastas Jovanović (1817–1899) from Belgrade is generally seen as the first Serbian phtographer (mid-19th century). This means he was the first Serbian to pursue photography as an art form and to capture historical events as they were happening. He studied and worked in Vienna before coming home to Belgrade. This is fairly typical. We also notice German and French photographers in the Balkans and French photographers in the Ottoman empire and rab lands because these areas were so technically backward. He was the author of the first photographic pantheon of the most significant events and people of his time. Other photographers may have taken worked in Belgrade, but there work was just portrait work. His work was immediately seen as important by the Serbian Government. Exhibitions of his work were organized at a very early point (1850). We have not yet found Serbian Dags and ambros in general circulation. We also have found few CDVs. This suggests to us that Serbian photography was fairly limited until the 1870s and thus the cabint card became the standard rather than the CDV as in Western Europe. This seems the general pattern in the Balkans. We see quite a few cabinet cards that only read 'Cabinet Card' rather than the name of the studio and city. Sometimes 'Souvenir' is also used. We also see this in ither Balkan an Eastern European countries. We continue to see cabinet card portraits into the early-20th century, mostly the same basic style mounts common in the late-19th century.


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Created: 11:18 PM 10/16/2016
Last updated: 11:18 PM 10/16/2016