Tag Archives: Venezuela

Earliest photographic views of venezuela, 1857

Pal Rosti Barkoczi (also known as Paul de Rosti) was a pioneer of photography in Venezuela. The eleven views of Caracas and the valle the Aragua he left us are the earliest photographic views of Venezuela – and should be ranked as masterpieces of primitive photography.

Quebrada de Catuche (all titles are the original from Rosti hand)

Pal Rosti was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1830. He studied at the university of Munich School of Science for four years then geography and ethnography in Budapest in 1853. In 1854 and 1855, Rosti is probably in Paris, learning photography. Although he doesn’t appear in the extensive list of Gustave Le Gray students, he certainly learnt his waxed paper negative process.

La Trinidad et le grand Samang

On August 4th 1856 he embarks from le Havre to New York, and travels in the United States as far as Wisconsin. In January 1857 he arrives in Cuba.

He lands in Venezuela probably late March 1857, arriving in La Guaira (he leaves Cuba on March 12th and sails thru Saint-Thomas) and leaves Venezuela at the end of June. So he spends at most three months travelling from la Guaira to Angostura.

His trip in Venezuela includes visit to Caracas, the Valle de Aragua (San Mateo and the El Palmar hacienda) then south to San Juan del Moros, probably the Lllanos, then the Orinoco river up to Angostura (now Ciudad Bolivar). But he photographs only Caracas and the Valle de Aragua. A quote from his diary explains why : “In order to simplify my trip, I left my cameras at “El Palmar” which I wouldn’t have been able to use anyway in the Llanos, and my extra luggage as well, requesting them to send it on to Saint Thomas from La Guaira. I found them there after several months.”

From Angostura he probably sails back to Saint-Thomas and then to Veracruz, Mexico.

El grande Samang, cerca de Turmero, valle de Aragua

Rosti lands on 8 August 1858 in Southampton. From there, it is very likely that he travels to Paris, then Hungary thru Berlin. On November 1st 1858, Rosti visits Alexander Von Humboldt, the inspiration for his travel,  in his house in Berlin and offers him an album of forty seven photographic views (the copy presently at the Ludwig Museum in Cologne). At the beginning of 1859, he exhibits his photographic views of Cuba, Venezuela and Mexico at the National Casino in Budapest.

La Pastora

The bindings of all four existing album bear the mark of Despierres from Paris. We therefore know that all prints were made between his arrival in Southampton and his arrival in Berlin. It is more than likely that the prints were also made in Paris – the Le Gray atelier a prime suspect for such a wonderful job. We also know that Rosti had less than three months, between his arrival in England and his meeting with Humboldt, to have the photographs printed and the album bound – including travel time from Southampton to Berlin via Paris. That might explain why so few copies of the album are known.

Hacienda de azucar, près de Caracas

San Mateo

Four albums are known, three of which are located in Hungary and one in Germany. The contents of the three albums located in Hungary are not identical. The copy in the National Széchenyi Library which was originally given to the Hungarian National Museum contains 45 prints, the album in the Museum of Photography contains 47 prints, the album of the Loránd Eötvös Geophysical Institute contains 40 prints. The album in Cologne contained 47 prints (with 5 missing today).

In the two 47 prints albums, four pictures show parts of Havana, 11 photograph landscapes and buildings in Venezuela, and the remaining 32 from Mexico.

La maison de Bolivar

Une plantation de café

San Juan de los Moros

The whereabouts of the paper negatives are unknown. None of the photographs he might have taken in France or the United States have ever been found.

I am very grateful to the Ludwig Museum in Cologne for letting me have a long look at this stunning album.

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New early views of Venezuela, 1890

Main street of Barcelona, Anzoategui, 1890

Main street of Barcelona, Anzoategui, 1890

We just acquired this amazing album of early views of Venezuela, mostly Anzoategui and Vargas states, dated 1890. It comes from a Corsican family, probably a member, or a friend, of the Dominici family. The Dominici emigrated to Venezuela in the late 18th century and settled in Sucre state. They gave a least three importants venezuelians : Anibal Dominici (1837-1897) lawyer and politician, first Minister of Education of Venezuela ; Santos Dominici (1869-1954) prominent doctor and writer ; Pedro Cesar Dominici (1873-1954), writer and diplomat.

A street view of Puerto la Cruz, Anzoategui, 1890

A street view of Puerto la Cruz, Anzoategui, 1890

The owner of this album was most likely an engineer, with a strong interest in metallic structures.

As far as we know, most of these prints are unique.

Caribe indians

Caribe indians

Construction of the Wharf at Guanta, Anzoategui, 1890

Construction of the Wharf at Guanta, Anzoategui, 1890

Construction of the Wharf at Guanta, Anzoategui, 1890

Construction of the Wharf at Guanta, Anzoategui, 1890

Quebrada de Guanta

The beach of  Guanta

Quebrada de Guanta

Quebrada de Guanta

The Wharf at Guanta, Anzoategui, 1890

The Wharf at Guanta, Anzoategui, 1890

The railway from La Guaira to Caracas going thru Maiquetia

The railway from La Guaira to Caracas going thru Maiquetia

The railway from La Guaira to Caracas

The railway from La Guaira to Caracas

The railway from La Guaira to Caracas

The railway from La Guaira to Caracas

The railway from La Guaira to Caracas

The railway from La Guaira to Caracas, Maiquetia

The railway from La Guaira to Caracas

The railway from La Guaira to Caracas

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https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santos_Dominici

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedro_César_Dominici

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anìbal_Dominici

We just acquired this rare set of early views of Tachira state. Mostly mountainous, the andean state of Tachira and its capital San Cristobal were almost cut off from the rest of the country until the early 20th century, mostly due to the lack of roads – and 19th century photographs of the Venezuela Andes are extremely rare. It is therefore a pleasure to share this discovery with you.

These prints come from Germany and depict a couple of German shop or warehouse. German immigrants were especially active in coffee trade in Los Andes state at the time, as well as in Maracaibo. All the prints are captioned on verso in Spanish. Most of them are in stunning condition.

View of San Cristobal

View of San Cristobal

Plaza Paez, San Cristobal

Plaza Paez, San Cristobal

The slaughterhouse, San Cristobal

The slaughterhouse, San Cristobal

German shop in San Cristobal

German shop in San Cristobal

Detail of the previous photo

Detail of the previous photo

Storehouse of the casa Blohm, San Cristobal

Storehouse of the casa Blohm, San Cristobal

Detail of Casa Blohm, with a poster about "cuestion guyana"

Detail of Casa Blohm, with a poster about “cuestion guyana”

A German family house in San Cristobal

A German family house in San Cristobal

San Cristobal, the electrical power plant.

San Cristobal, the electrical power plant.

The electrical power plant from the outside

The electrical power plant from the outside

Barrio Guzman, San Cristobal

Barrio Guzman, San Cristobal

The barrio Guzman was built in the early 1880’s after the 1875 earthquake almost destroyed San Cristobal.

Torbes river, San Cristobal

Torbes river, San Cristobal

Barria de la Guaira, Rubio

Barria de la Guaira, Rubio

The City of Rubio, is ten kilometers South-West of San Cristobal, close to the Colombian border.

Main street of Rubio

Main street of Rubio

Merida and the Sierra Nevada

Merida and the Sierra Nevada

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Rare views of Caracas and Puerto Cabello, circa 1890

We just acquired these unusual views of Venezuela. Most of the prints are in pretty bad condition, but a few offer a glimpse of Old Venezuela. These photographs were part of a travel album dated 1890-1891, probably from a French traveller in the West Indies and the northern coast of South America. Especially interesting are the views of Puerto Cabello, a city way off the beaten track and seldom seen in photography of this era.

CALLE DEL COMERCIO EN PUERTO CABELLO, CIRCA 1890

CALLE DEL COMERCIO EN PUERTO CABELLO, CIRCA 1890

CAMPO DE SANTA CRUZ, PUERTO CABELLO, CIRCA 1890

CAMPO DE SANTA CRUZ, PUERTO CABELLO, CIRCA 1890

CAMPO CERCANO DE PUERTO CABELLO, PASO REAL, CIRCA 1890

CAMPO CERCANO DE PUERTO CABELLO, PASO REAL, CIRCA 1890

Caza el las cercanias de Puerto cabello, circa 1890

Caza el las cercanias de Puerto cabello, circa 1890

We have found precious few views of Puerto Cabello in public collections in Venezuela. The author of these photographs is unknown, and will probably remain so. It looks like the work of a skilled amateur…

The following photographs of Caracas are less rare, with the exception of an interesting view of la Pastora, one of the oldest “parroquias” of Caracas. The views of Plaza Bolivar are remarkably lively.

PARROQUIA LA PASTORA, CARACAS, CIRCA 1890

PARROQUIA DE ANTIMANO, CARACAS, CIRCA 1890

 

Pont Crespo, Caracas, Venezuela. Circa 1890.

Pont Crespo, Caracas, Venezuela. Circa 1890.

PLAZA BOLIVAR, CARACAS, CIRCA 1890

PLAZA BOLIVAR, CARACAS, CIRCA 1890

CASA PRESIDENCIAL, CASA AMARILLA, CARACAS, CIRCA 1890

CASA PRESIDENCIAL, CASA AMARILLA, CARACAS, CIRCA 1890

PLAZA BOLIVAR, PALACIO EPISCOPAL, CARACAS, CIRCA 1890

PLAZA BOLIVAR, PALACIO EPISCOPAL, CARACAS, CIRCA 1890

PLAZA BOLIVAR, PALACIO EPISCOPAL, CARACAS, CIRCA 1890

CLOSE UP OF PLAZA BOLIVAR, PALACIO EPISCOPAL, CARACAS, CIRCA 1890

We could not find anything on the photograph of Puente Crespo. The caption in French says “pont Crespo”, but there is no mention of such a bridge in Caracas. We will welcome any information on this view.

 

Rare Panorama of Caracas, circa 1900

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We would like to share with you this rare panorama of Caracas taken by an anonymous photographer circa 1900. As far as we know this is a unique print.

(Click on the image below to see it full size)

This photograph was taken from El Calvario and it is almost a 360° view of the valley. Over a meter long it is a striking and highly detailed view of the city. It’s especially interesting to see the whole Avila almost barren – way before the mountain was replanted.

It is a 5-plate panorama, on printing out paper and it measures 18 x 116 cms.

Next, we are showing you plate by plate starting from left to right.

Panorama of Caracas, Venezuela circa 1900.

Panorama of Caracas – Plate #1

Panorama of Caracas, Venezuela circa 1900.

Panorama of Caracas – Plate #2

Panorama of Caracas, Venezuela circa 1900.

Panorama of Caracas – Plate #3

Panorama of Caracas, Venezuela circa 1900.

Panorama of Caracas – Plate #4

Panorama of Caracas, Venezuela circa 1900.

Panorama of Caracas – Plate #5

These close ups help us have an idea of the day-to-day life in the city.

Panorama of Caracas, Venezuela circa 1900.

Panorama of Caracas – Close up #1

Panorama of Caracas, Venezuela circa 1900.

Panorama of Caracas – Close up #2

Panorama of Caracas, Venezuela circa 1900.

Panorama of Caracas – Close up #3