Home|Photography Hall (Hall 8)

Photography Hall (Hall 8)

One of the most important public photography collections from 19th century Spain is on view in this gallery. A close look reveals Frederic Marès' early interest in the conservation of images and their popularization. The collections on display here are a faithful testament to the evolution of photographic techniques, from the second half of the 19th century to the first quarter of the 20th century. They are also a suggestive and evocative window into the past, like many other collections in the Collector's Cabinet.

The first few showcases on the right feature a group of framed portraits that were taken using the first photographic techniques-daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and tintypes. Continuing on, there are pictures of Catalan artists and numerous views of Barcelona. Another section is made up of cameras and photographic accessories from various eras. Notice the two large studio cameras, located in the center of the room.

Five large oval-shaped portraits have been retouched by colored pencils, using the crayon portrait technique. These can be found on the adjacent wall and in the albums in the showcase.

Finally, there is an extensive collection of small portraits (mainly albumin prints in the calling card, or carte-de-visite format) which were quite popular beginning in 1855 and were fixed onto cardboard. This new technique made photography extremely accessible. Photo studios sprang up everywhere and the purchase of multiple copies of portraits took off. It was not only photos of politicians and royalty that became popular. There were also pictures of exotic lands, and portraits of artists and members of the clergy. Have a look at the turnstile showcase, where there is a considerable selection of portraits that exemplify the tastes and fashions of the second half of the 19th century. To the side, some of the backs of these cards provide a useful source for the identification of photographers who were active in Barcelona and in other Catalan cities during the latter part of the 19th century.

Virtual photo exhibition; Tourism in Europe a hundred years agoclick here