Friday, 11 September 2015

Back with Pascal Sebah and the lost world of the Ottoman Empire circa 1873

Three men in Kurdish costume, 1873
I am back with Ottoman photographer Pascal Sebah.

He opened his first photography studio in Constantinople specializing in recording the peoples and costumes of the Ottoman Empire.

This proved an astute move given the growing interest in the west to all things from the Middle East and so he had a ready market selling images to tourists, of the city, ancient ruins in the surrounding area and portraits, as well as local people in traditional costumes,

The Ottoman Empire had been a major power controlling much of southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa.

It was a multinational, multilingual empire but one which by the 19th century was in decline.

And so his pictures however staged are a fascinating insight into that world.

They remain a powerful set of images, partly because of their historic value and also I think because they were well well composed carefully lit and show a grest attention to detail.

Pictures; three men in Kurdish costume, 1873, by Pascal Sebah

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