Turkey -- Istanbul Province -- Constantinople (Istanbul)
Syria -- Damascus -- Damascus
Scope and Contents:
Panoramic view in 360 degrees of Constantinople, now Istanbul, Turkey, circa 1870. 10 sheets of albumen print, of which five bear the photographer's signature and number.
Panoramic view of Damascus, Syria, circa 1870. 5 sheets of albumen print, all bearing the photographer's signature and number.
Organized in two flat boxes.
First Box: Panoramas of Constantinople
Second Box: Panoramas of Damascus
Biographical / Historical:
Felix Bonfils was a French photographer who began his professional career as a bookbinder and printer, specializing in photoengravings. After visiting Lebanon as part of Napoleon III's expeditionary corps, in 1867 he became the first French photographer to settle in the Near East. With his wife Lydie, Bonfils established a studio, Maison Bonfils, in Beirut, then part of the Ottoman Empire. Known for his interest in architectural photography, Bonfils traveled widely in the Near East. His 1876 catalog is credited with introducing the genre of Near Eastern photographic portraiture.
Collection is open for research.
Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository.
Albumen prints -- 1860-1880
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives