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September 6, 2011

Fascinating Colorized Photos of Bedouin People From the Late 19th Century

At the end of the 19th century Orientalisme is in fashion, some photographers specialized themselves about these landscapes, making images thanks to an early color process: Photochrom.

The Photochrom was invented in the 1880s by Hans-Jakob SCHMID (1865-1924), an employee of the Swiss publishing company Orell F├╝ssil & Cie. We obtained the technique from a black and white photographic negative, basing on the process of color lithography. Thanks to the Photochrom, it was now possible to put many colors in the photograph. However, we had not still reached automatic work. In other words, we had to retouch each image manually according to the color. The choice of color required the interpretation of a performer to have more details in the photo. Consequently, the photochrom prints did not seem natural. At the beginning of the 20th century, they were quickly sold out in tourist spots, particularly in the Middle East.

Palestine, which had just opened doors to the Occident under the Ottoman Empire, flourished rapidly in the middle of the 19th century as a melting pot of civilization and, for the Europeans, as a recovered paradise. The photographs on Palestine provoked a new and striking sensitivity to Europeans.

Bedouin man

Sheik

Bedouin shepherds

Mothers and children

Syrian Bedouin shepherds

Water carrier

Jews in Jerusalem

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