Cristian Graure

Din oglinda cu memorie.Calatoria fotografiei la Timisoara (1839-1855) / From the Mirror with a Memory-Travelling Photography towards Timisoara (1839-1855)

Jan. 1, 2013




After Niepce perfected process of taking heliographs after nature and later on, with the discovery of the procedure of Daguerre, the photography was born into this world. With the public disclosure made by Daguerre at the French Academy of Science in 1839, the daguerreotype was introduced to the rest of the Europe an the World, specially to the Viennese people who had a representative at the French meeting that year in the person of Ethinghausen. He rapidly presented the process with his return to the Austrian people, who quickly was drawn by it and soon was improved by the local scientists and artists like A. Martin and Jozsef Petzval, who introduced for the first time the lenses produced by mathematical calculations. With the improvements made to the camera and the liberty to take photographs, from Vienna the medium rapidly extended to other parts of the empire, arriving at just two months and a half from the invention, in Hungary and Banat. e first announcements were made in the same year in the German newspaper “Temswarer Wochenblatt” in Timisoara and later in the issues of the following years. e first photographer who took images in Timisoara was Philipp Dombeck, who came in the city from Bavaria, trough Bohemia and Hungary and finally established in Brasov after a short period of practice in Banat. Because the local market offered new and good possibilities to make a career in the field, after Dombeck have come Gottfried Barth and Wenzel Proksch, the last was a famous camera manufacturer from Vienna, who also worked in Transylvania. ey produced daguerreotypes for the local wealthy population at relatively high prices for that period in comparison with other products. After the photographic market grown, the daguerreotype prices dropped and taking pictures has become an aspiration for most of the people in need of representation. e two were followed by Johann Huber from Pest, Friedrich Binder from Buda, witch established later in Bucharest, Ulbach Vince (1812 – 1848) and Beck Vince (1799 – 1858), some of the initiators in Hungarian daguerreotype and later, after 1850 by Nikolaus Stockmann (1832 – 1905), who will make a great reputation in the region as daguerreotypist and photographer and later in the future dual monarchy, being granted the title of “imperial photographer”. Besides the “traveling photographers”, Timişoara was also a developed cultural centre with high aspirations regarding the new innovative methods created by arts and science, and the local “Lyceum” and physics laboratory was endowed with different optical and photographic apparatuses for lessons. e laboratory has been enriched constantly by the future priest and photographer Jozsef Brand, who became a well known figure in the city. Due to its role and position within the Empire, the Banat region mediated the extremities, uniting the western world with the eastern, in a common cultural dialogue which was based at some time upon the photographic image.